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Contributions to 
Circumpolar Anthropology 7 
National Museum of Natural History 
Smithsonian Institution 
2008 

enter 




^^tudies 




Bryan C. Hood 



Towards an Archaeologt) 

of the Main K^gion^ Labrador 



BRYAN C. HOOD 



EDITED BY WILLIAM W. FITZHUGH 




Published by the 

Arctic Studies Center 

National Museum of Natural History 

Smithsonian Institution 

Washington, D.C. 



© 2008 Arctic Studies Center, National IVluseum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 
All rights reserved 

Printed in the United States of America 

ISBN: 10: 0-9816142-0-5 
ISBN 1 3: 978-0-9816142-0-5 



Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data 
Hood, Bryan C, 1 955- 

Towards an archaeology of the Nain Region, Labrador / Bryan C. Hood ; edited by William W. Fitzhugh. 

p. cm. — (Contributions to circumpolar anthropology ; v. 7) 
Includes bibliographical references and index. 

ISBN-13: 978-0-9816142-0-5 (pbk. : alk. paper) 
ISBN-10: 0-9816142-0-5 (pbk. : alk. paper) 

1. Indians of North America— Newfoundland and Labrador— Nain Region— Antiquities. 2. Eskimos— Newfoundland 
and Labrador— Nain Region— Antiquities. 3. Inuit— Newfoundland and Labrador— Nain Region— Antiquities. 4. Nain 
Region (N.L.)— Antiquities. 5. Excavations (Archaeology)— Newfoundland and Labrador— Nain Region. 6. 
Ethnoarchaeology— Newfoundland and Labrador—Nain Region. 7. Environmental archaeology— Newfoundland and 
Labrador— Nain Region. 8. Material culture— Newfoundland and Labrador—Nain Region— History. 9. Historic 
buildings — Newfoundland and Labrador—Nain Region. 10. Land settlement patterns— Newfoundland and 
Labrador—Nain Region — History. I. Fitzhugh, William W., 1 943- II. Arctic Studies Center (National IVluseum of 
Natural History) III. Title. 

E78.N72H66 2008 
971 .8004'97-dc22 

200801 2674 



The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of the American National Standard for Information 
Sciences—Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, Z39.48-1 992. 



Technical Editor: Cara Seitchek 

Layout and Typography: Jody Billert / Design Literate, Inc. 

Production editor: Abigail McDermott 

Printed by United Book Press, Inc., Baltimore, MD 



This publication is Volume 7 in the Arctic Studies Center series. Contributions to Circumpolar Anthropology, produced by the 
Arctic Studies Center, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. 

THIS SERIES IS MADE POSSIBLE IN PART BY THE JAMES W. VANSTONE (1 925-2001) ENDOWMENT. ADDITIONAL SUPPORT FOR 
THIS VOLUME HAS BEEN PROVIDED BY THE INSTITUTE FOR ARCHAEOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF TROMS0, NORWAY. 



Front Cover: Duncan Strong at Nukasusutok Island, August 1928. W. D. Strong collection © Smithsonian Institution, National 
Anthropological Archives. Negative No. 99-10592. 

Back Cover: Bryan Hood at Nukasusutok-5, Area 3, in 1980 (Photo: Morten Meldgaard). 





f Jan 7 "2009 j 

contents ^^^-^rari^.^ 


Pre fa ce 


i TABLE OF CONTENTS 
iv FOREWORD 

vi PREFACE 

vii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 
ix List of Figures 

xlli List of Tables 


chapter 1 


1 INTRODUCTION 

The Goals of this Text 

A Brief History of Archaeological Research in the Main Region and Adjacent Areas 
Outline of Central and Northern Labrador Culture-History 


C h a p t e r 2 


1 3 ENVIRONMENT OF THE NAIN REGION 
Overview of the Nain Region 
Bedrock Geology of the Nain Region 
Paleoenvironmental Change 

Recent Seasonal Resource Use in the Nain Region 

Nukasusutok Island 

Webb Bay/Port Manvers Run 


chapter 5 


23 THEORY AND METHOD IN THE ANALYSIS OF SOCIAL SPACE 
Spatial Analysis in Archaeology 

The Maritime Archaic: Longhouse Models and Spatial Muddles 

The Functional and Social Dimensions of Maritime Archaic Dw/ellings 

Expanding the View: Other Archaeological Contexts 

Ethnography: Social Space and Meaning 

Methodological Strategy for the Spatial Analysis of Maritime 

Archaic Sites 

Paleoeskimos: Axial Features and Bilateral Organization 
Methodological Strategy for the Analysis of Paleoeskimo Spatial 
Patterns 

Notes on the Quantitative Methods. 

Conclusion: Behavioral Space and Signifying Practices 


cha pter 4- 


53 NUKASUSUTOK ISLAND: OVERVIEW AND SURVEYED SITES 
Nukasusutok-1 (HcCh-4) 
Nukasusutok-2 (HcCh-5) 
Nukasusutok-4 (HcCh-6) 
Nukasusutok-6 (HcCh-8) 
Nukasusutok-9 (HcCh-1 1) 
Nukasusutok-1 (HcCh-12) 
Nukasusutok-1 1 (HcCh-1 3) 
Nukasusutok-1 3 (HcCh-1 5) 
Nukasusutok-14 (HcCh-16) 
Mount Pickle Harbour-1 (HcCh-17) 



cha pter ^ 


61 NUKASUSUTOK-5; DESCRIPTIVE OVERVIEW 
The Site and its Environs 
Archaeological Activities and Field Methods 
Area 1 
Area 2 
Area 3 


chapter 6 


77 NUKASUSUTOK-5; AREA 2 SPATIAL ANALYSIS 
Limitations and Complications 
Preliminary Overview 
Area 2A 
Area 2B 
Area 2C 


C h a p t e r 7 


139 NUKASUSUTOK-5: AREAS 1 AND 3 
Area 1 
Area 3 


chapter S 


157 NUKASUSUTOK-5: MATERIAL CULTURE 
Definitions 
Area 1 
Area 2A 
Area 2B 
Area 2C 
Area 3 

The Nukasusutok-5 Assemblage in a Comparative Perspective 


chapter 9 


1 77 NUKASUSUTOK-5: INTER-AREA COMPARISONS AND CONCLUSIONS 
Inter-Area Comparisons 
Conclusions 


cha pter 1 


1 89 NUKASUSUTOK-1 2: EARLY/MIDDLE DORSET AXIAL STRUCTURES 
Structure 1 
Structure 2 
Structure 3 
Structure 4 
Test Pits 1-3 
Test Pits 4 and 5 
Surface Collections 

Overall Assemblage Characteristics and Technological Organization 
Chronology 

Structural Comparisons 
Settlement Pattern and Seasonality 



chapter 11 


213 POST-CONTACT INUIT SETTLEMENT ON NUKASUSUTOK ISLAND 
Post-Contact Inuit Society and Settlement Patterns in Labrador 
An Ethnohistoric Sketch of the Nukasusutok Settlement 
The Archaeology of Nukasusutok-7 (HcCi-8) 

The Archaeology of Nukasusutok-8 and W. D. Strong's Grave Collection 
Conclusion: Big-Men, Big-Women and Negotiating the 18^'^ Century 
European World System 


chapter 12 


245 WEBB BAY/PORT MANVERS RUN: SMALL SCALE INVESTIGATIONS 
Port Manvers Run-1 (HfCj-5) 
Double Island Cove-1, L-1 (HeCj-1) 
Sunset Point (HeCj-8) 
Attu's Bight-1 (HeCk-4) 
Webb Point (HeCk-6) 


chapter 1 ^ 


273 ATTU'S POINT: A PRE-DORSET "CENTRAL PLACE" ON WEBB BAY 
Overview 

Excavation and Collection Methods 

L-1 Excavation 

L-5 Excavation 

L-7 Excavation 

L-9 Test Excavation 

Other Loci 

Inter-Locus Comparisons 
Conclusions 


C h a p t e r 1 -f 


319 THE STRUCTURATION OF MARITIME ARCHAIC/PRE-DORSET 
SOCIAL BOUNDARIES IN LABRADOR 
Culture-Historical Background 

Working at Theoretical Boundaries: "Landscape " as a Platform for Dialogue? 
Partial Readings: Navigating the Boundaries 
Ecological Space 

Constructed Social and Ideological Landscapes 
Back to the Archaeological Context 
Paleoenviron mental Considerations 
A Note on Other Cultural Variables 
Navigation 1 : An Ecological Narrative 

Navigation 2: A Social and Ideological Landscape Narrative 
Conclusion 


Chapter 1^ 


347 CONCLUDING REMARKS 




351 REFERENCES CITED 
363 INDEX 



foreword 



BY WILLIAM W. FITZHUGH 

In 1969 while in the second field season of my PhD 
work in Hamilton Inlet, Geoff Conrad, Peter Wells, and I 
flew 200 miles north to survey two locations at the for- 
est-tundra boundary in northern Quebec-Labrador. One 
of these locations was on the George River, where 
Dillon Wallace, Mina Hubbard, and W. B. Cabot had 
described Naskapi (today's Innu) camped in the early 
1900s to intercept the annual caribou migration in 
August and September at Indian House Lake (Hutte de 
la Sauvage) near the Labrador border in northeastern 
Quebec. Here we found many historic Innu camps at the 
northern edge of the forest. This country was harsh and 
its scoured surface still bore the scars of continental ice 
sheets. For the Innu who lived here, starvation was 
always just a breath away, for if the 'deer' migration 
changed the Innu were often too weak to re-locate. 

After a few days we flew east to the comparative 
paradise of Village Bay, where Port Manvers Run joins 
the Labrador Sea at the southeast side of the Kiglapait 
Mountains. To the north lay the Qkak archipelago; to 
the south the island archipelago east of Nain, then the 
northernmost town in Labrador, settled by Moravian 
missionaries in 1771. As we waded ashore in the blis- 
teringly cold water, the contrast with the interior bar- 
rens was stark indeed. It wasn't that the land was so dif- 
ferent, for it had the same stunted spruce trees and tan- 
gled alder thickets, the same patches of wind-blown 
sand and winter-killed tree stumps. What was different 
was the wealth of resources provided by the ocean. The 
bountiful Labrador coast waters made the barrens seem 
like the most desolate place on earth. If you had a 

Iv 



choice - and in the competitive world of early Labrador 
history, one often did not - you would choose the coast, 
and if you know how to hunt sea mammals and navi- 
gate a treacherous coastline, it could sustain larger and 
more sedentary communities. 

Our brief visit to Village Bay and Thalia Point 
demonstrated great archaeological potential, with finds 
of Inuit camps dating to the past 5-600 years, the first 
Pre-Dorset and Dorset sites to be found in Labrador, 
and scattered traces of yet-to-be defined early Indian 
cultures. The region was well-described in detailed 
annual reports of the Moravians in the 18-1 9th C. and 
some ethnographic work had been done by geologist 
E.P. Wheeler, whose student, Stearns (Tony) Morse, and 
Peter Johnson had studied its geology and geomorphol- 
ogy. Wheeler and Morse were still working in the Nain 
area when we arrived, as was Terje Brantenberg, a 
social anthropologist. My brief excursion to Thalia Point 
convinced me that Nain, which lay just south of the 
coastal tree-line, was more central to the question of 
Indian-Eskimo boundary dynamics than Hamilton Inlet, 
where I had been working on this problem sincel968. 

Beginning in 1 973 I acquired a boat and started 
making excursions to Nain from Hamilton Inlet, and in 
1975 1 began to focus exclusively on this area. In 1 977- 
78 I undertook a large survey of the coast north of 
Nain, as far as Killinek and Port Burwell at the northern 
tip of Labrador. By this time Bryan Hood had become 
part of the field team, and when we returned to contin- 
ue work in Nain in the early 1 980s, Bryan began his own 
project at a large Maritime Archaic site at Nukasusutok 
5. In later years he researched other sites at 
Nukasusutok and explored the inner fjords north of 

FOREWORD 



Main. Hood's work more than complements our earlier 
studies; he has advanced it in important ways, making 
the first detailed published test of the Maritime Archaic 
longhouse model, exploring Maritime Archaic- 
Paleoeskimo contacts, and expanding knowledge of 
Dorset settlement patterns. This volume is the first 
detailed description of Nain culture history to be pub- 
lished, spans a period of 6000 years, and includes a 
large number of sites from different environmental 
zones, from outer coast to interior bays and fjords. 
Hood's analytical study of settlement data using k- 
means and other methods is a model approach to the 
study of settlement information and the first such study 
to appear for any arctic or subarctic region. Description 
of Duncan Strong's finds from the early historic Inuit 
village at Nukasusutok, housed at the R.S. Peabody 
Foundation in Andover, Massachusetts, brings his 
study up toward the present day. While not a complete 
scenario of the early history of Nain it is a fine start at 



creating an accessible published literature on the 
archaeology of northern Labrador. 

I thank Bryan for his long and continuing dedica- 
tion to the peoples and cultures of Nain, and for his 
meticulous description and analysis of hard-won field 
data. It gives me great pleasure to publish this work 
through the Arctic Studies Center as the first of several 
future monographs on Smithsonian-related Labrador 
research. We dedicate this volume to the people of Nain 
in gratitude for the support and encouragement they 
have provided our collective efforts for many years. 




Heading home to Nam over the sea ice east of Strathcona Run, April 1996. (Photo. B. Hood) 



FOREWORD 



V 



reface 



The research described herein was undertaken in two 
phases separated by twelve years. The first phase tran- 
spired on Nul<asusutol< Island in 1979 and 1980 as 
fieldworl< directed towards an M.A. degree at Trent 
University (Hood 1981). During subsequent years I 
pursued my Ph.D. at the University of IVlassachusetts, 
Amherst. That research was directed primarily 
towards north Norwegian Stone Age archaeology, but 
a prominent underlying theme was that comparison 
between Norway and Labrador could provide useful 
insight concerning hunter-gatherer complexity. Having 
eventually acquired a teaching position at Memorial 
University of Newfoundland, I returned to 
Nukasusutok in 1992 and 1993 to reevaluate the pre- 
vious work. I also expanded my geographical scope to 
include a modest program in the Webb Bay and Port 
Manvers Run area from 1992 to 1994. 

This temporal split presented some problems 
when it was time to proceed with the final analysis of 
the material from the Nukasusutok-5 site. There was 
always the nagging question as to whether or not the 
observations made by naive eyes in 1979 could reli- 
ably be compared with those made on the basis of 
more experience in 1992. Should inconsistencies in 
observations between the two periods be attributed to 
inexperienced omissions in 1979 rather than to real 
behavioral differences? There were also some differ- 
ences in recording techniques between the two 
research phases which had an impact on the methods 
chosen for the final analyses. For example, in 1979- 
1980 debitage was collected in 1 m^ units while 50 
cm^ units were used in 1 992-1 993. Or, in 1 979-80 uti- 
lized flakes and bipolar cores were not point plotted 

vi 



systematically in the field, so many of them were only 
provenienced within 1 m^ units. Thus, the distribution 
patterns of these types could not be studied at the 
level of detail I would prefer today. These and other 
problems were annoying and frustrating, but hardly 
fatal. Although hitches remain they are not sufficient 
to subvert the main conclusions reached herein. 

Despite the intensity of fieldwork in Labrador dur- 
ing the 1970s and 1980s, very little has been pub- 
lished beyond preliminary reports and some doctoral 
dissertations. This situation imposes significant limita- 
tions on the extent to which the material presented 
here can be used to elucidate broader culture-histori- 
cal problems. Consequently, this volume will not offer 
a new synthesis of Labrador archaeology, although 
one is badly needed. The task of integration lies with 
others. Instead, the main purpose of the volume is to 
provide a detailed descriptive report that will be useful 
to other researchers. Of course, there is more to it 
than that; the material is also used to direct attention 
towards broader methodological and conceptual 
issues. The unifying theme for several of the chapters 
is the social structuration of space, which is treated at 
two different scales. The first scale is site structure, for 
which a set of methodological strategies is outlined. 
The second scale is regional and inter-regional, which 
is played out in general discussions of settlement pat- 
terns and theorization of the Pre-Dorset/Maritime 
Archaic social boundary relationship. In both cases the 
discussions feed on the tensions between processual 
and post-processual archaeologies. Thus the worm's 
eye view opens onto the wider world. 

Bryan Hood 



acknowledgments 



This text has been many years in the making and has 
involved perambulations on both sides of the Atlantic 
such that the assistance of a rather wide range of peo- 
ple and institutions must be acknowledged. 

During the 1979-80 field seasons financial sup- 
port was received from the Arctic Institute of North 
America, the Committee for Research and Department 
of Anthropology, Trent University, and the Historic 
Resources Division, Government of Newfoundland and 
Labrador. The 1992-1994 field seasons were support- 
ed by grants from Memorial University (Vice- 
President's Research Grant and internal SSHRC funds), 
the Institute of Social and Economic Research and the 
Historic Resources Division of the Government of 
Newfoundland and Labrador. Much of the cataloguing 
and lab work performed by students was supported by 
the Memorial University MUCEP program. The 
Archaeology Unit, Memorial University, kindly kept me 
employed from 1990-1995. 

Over the years, many people participated in this 
research in one capacity or another. In 1979 I was 
accompanied in the field by Jack Contin and Charles 
Curtis and in 1980 by William Fitzhugh, Eric Loring, 
Stephen Loring, Morten Meldgaard and Douglas 
Sutton. From 1992 to 1994 Edward Flowers of Nain 
served as my field assistant, joined in 1994 by Elias 
Henoche, also of Nain. Also joining the crew on a 
memorable survey/hunting trip to Hebron in 1997 
were Kitti Flowers, Chesley Ittulak and Sam Kalleo. Lab 
assistance in cataloguing and related matters was pro- 
vided by Marcus Anderson, Patricia Barefoot, 
Stephanie Barry, Marie-Claire Coyer, Randolph Lawlor, 
Sandy Ste. Croix and Robin Tuck. 



Specialized analytical assistance was performed 
by Rodolfe Fecteau ( University of Western Ontario; 
charcoal species identification), Dosia Layendecker 
(Smithsonian; charcoal species identification), Brian 
Ritchie (Trent University, soils analysis), Michael Deal 
(Memorial University, botanical identification) and Ann 
Rick (Canadian Museum of Nature, zoological analy- 
sis). Most of the lithic artifact photos were taken by 
John Bourne (Photo Services, Memorial University). 

Once upon a time (1981, precisely), a preliminary 
look at the Maritime Archaic material reported here 
was presented as an M.A. thesis at Trent University 
(Hood 1 981 ). I would like to thank the members of my 
thesis committee, Morgan Tamplin and the late 
Richard Johnston, for their guidance in thesis prepara- 
tion and Romas Vastokas and Paul Healy for assistance 
in acquiring funding from Trent sources. 

A special thanks is due to William Fitzhugh 
(Smithsonian). His invitation to participate in the 
Torngat Archaeological Project in 1978 was the step- 
ping stone to everything that has happened since. He 
also suggested the work on Nukasusutok-5, provided 
subsistence and logistical support in 1980 and served 
as an outside committee member for the M.A. thesis. 
In recent years he has provided valuable commentary 
on my attempts to theorize the Maritime Archaic. 

I also appreciate the efforts of the staff of the 
Cultural Heritage Division, province of Newfoundland 
and Labrador, and the Newfoundland Museum, for 
authorizing research and export permits, providing 
valuable information from site records, and sending 
me copies of unpublished manuscripts. Specifically: 



ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 



vii 



Martha Drake, Ken Reynolds, Delphina Mercer, 
Stephen Hull, Elaine Anton and Kevin McAleese. 

My access to W. D. Strong's collection at the 
Robert S. Peabody Museum of Archaeology, Phillips 
Academy, Andover, Massachusetts, was kindly 
arranged by Malinda Blustain. The material and photo- 
graphs are used by permission of the Peabody 
Museum. I would also like to thank the staff of the 
National Anthropological Archives at the Smithsonian 
Institution for making available Strong's field notes 
and photographs. Some of Strong's photos are used 
here with permission of the Smithsonian Institution. 

Over the past several years the financial and 
infrastructural support of the University of Troms0, 
Norway, has been instrumental in bringing this work 
to completion. Additionally, without tutoring in the 
basics of AutoCad from Tor Mikalsen, I would never 
have managed to produce the maps and floor plans 
herein. Anne Tommervag and Geir Davidsen provided 
pointers on digital photo retouching. 

I would also like to thank the manuscript peer 
reviewers for pointing out various errors and omis- 
sions and for suggesting improvements. The remain- 
ing blemishes are my own fault. 

Last but not least, much gratitude must be 
extended to the Labradorians who assisted in imple- 



menting the fieldwork and invited me into their 
homes. In 1979 Henry Webb of Nain provided boat 
transportation to and from Nukasusutok and Sue 
Webb provided radio communications. Winston White 
was most gracious in supplying accommodation dur- 
ing our sojourns in Goose Bay and provided us with 
some memorable mid-summer rest and recreation at 
his summer home at Kauk in 1979 and 1980. Gary 
Baikie of the Torngasok Cultural Center (Nain), in his 
capacity as the community liason for archaeological 
matters, approved the 1992-94 fieldwork and provid- 
ed assistance with logistics in 1992. Joe Webb and 
Dennis Wyatt provided boat transportation to our field 
sites in 1992. Edward Flowers kindly contributed the 
use of his boat and his father's motor in 1993 and 
Cus Flowers provided us with transportation out to 
Webb Bay in 1994. Thanks to Christine Denniston for 
providing accommodation in Nain in 1992 and 1993. 

A special thanks to the Flowers family for taking 
me into their home, and to Gus and Edward for giving 
me the opportunity to travel with them on summer 
hunting trips and an especially memorable winter trip 
to Nutak in April 1993. Not to mention other forays 
since then. Without their support my ignorance would 
have been much worse and I might truly have gone 
isumaitsik... 




Motoring up Port Manvers Run with Edward Flowers, 1993. (Photo: B. Hood) 



viii 



ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 



f iVures 



1 Map of Labrador with places mentioned in the text. xvi 

2 Culture-history chart for central and northern Labrador. 6 

3 Map of the Nain region. 12 

4 RADARSAT synthetic aperture radar satellite photo of the Nain district. 14 

5 Relative sea level curves for Nain and inner Voisey's Bay. 16 

6 Binford's external/internal hearth models. 24 

7 Recent Innu camp structure. 26 

8 Innu summer tent site, 1 980. 27 

9 Maritime Archaic longhouse, Aillik 2. 28 

10 Maritime Archaic longhouse, Aillik 2, excavated into a cobble beach. 29 

11 Maritime Archaic longhouses from Nulliak Cove 1 . 31 

12 Pre-contact Recent Indian dwelling features. 35 

13 Late Dorset and Russian Upper Paleolithic longhouses. 38 

14 Spatial organization of a Nenets summer camp. 41 

1 5 Early Paleoeskimo axial features. 45 

16 Archaeological sites on Nukasusutok Island. 52 

17 Tools from surveyed Maritime Archaic sites on Nukasusutok Island. 55 

18 Nukasusutok-2; Structure 2. 56 

19 Dorset tools from Mount Pickle Harbour-1 . 59 

20 Nukasusutok-5 in its landscape. 60 

21 Nukasusutok-5 main beach terrace. 62 

22 Nukasusutok-5 excavation layout. 64 

23 Area 2 subareas. 64 

24 Area 2A soil profile. 64 

2 5 Area 2 features. 66 

26 Area 2A bipod photo. 67 

27 Area 2A hearth-1 . 67 

28 Area 2A hearth-5. 69 

29 Area 2B under excavation. 69 

30 Area 2C overview looking north. 70 

31 Area 2C hearth-9. 70 

32 Area 2C hearth-1 2. 71 

33 Area 2: total flake distribution in relation to features. 76 

34 Area 2A: inferred flake lobes in relation to features. 79 

35 Area 2A: rock distribution in relation to inferred flake lobes. 79 

36 Area 2A: flake lobes superimposed on vertical bipod photo. 80 

37 Area 2: /c-means cluster analysis. 82 

38 Area 2: quadrat groupings used in the analyses. 83 

39 Area 2; distribution of quartz flakes. 84 

40 Area 2; distribution of Ramah chert flakes. 85 

41 Area 2A: south lobe, lower level: distribution of Ramah chert flakes. 86 

42 Area 2: distribution of patinated Ramah chert flakes. 86 

43 Area 2 distribution of gray Mugford and black chert flakes. 87 

44 Area 2 distribution of slate flakes. 89 

45 Area 2A: correspondence analysis plot of flake raw materials by quadrat, coded by analytical model units. 92 

46 Area 2A: correspondence analysis plot of tool classes by analytical model units. 92 

47 Area 2: distribution of block cores by quadrat. 93 

48 Area 2: distribution of bipolar cores by quadrat. 93 

49 Area 2: distribution of utilized flakes by quadrat. ^ 94 

50 Area 2: distribution of bifacial points. 95 

51 Area 2: distribution of biface preforms. 96 

52 Area 2: distribution of bifaces. 97 

FIGURES ix 



53 Area 2: distribution of flake points. 98 

54 Area 2: distribution of endscrapers. 99 

55 Area 2: distribution of slate tools. 100 

56 Area 2: distribution of unmodified slate plates and blanks. 103 

57 Area 2: distribution of ground slate flakes and ground tool fragments. 104 

58 Area 2: distribution of miscellaneous tools. 105 

59 Area 2A: twelve-cluster /c-means solution. 106 

60 Area 2A: correspondence analysis plot of tool classes by fc-means cluster, based on the overall Area 2 nine-cluster solution. 107 

61 Area 2; distribution of red ocher and bone fragments. 107 

62 Area 2: size distribution of tools and quartz flakes. 108 

63 Area 2: distribution of Ramah chert biface-thinning flakes. 109 

64 Area 2A; dwelling module interpretation. Ill 

65 Area 2A: rectangular structure interpretation. 112 

66 Area 2B; features and total flake distribution. 123 

67 Area 2B: five-cluster fc-means solution. 123 

68 Area 2C: features and total flake distribution. 129 

69 Area 2C: modified four-cluster fc-means solution. 130 

70 Area 2C: dwelling interpretations. 135 

71 Area 1 : features and total flake distribution. 138 

72 Area 1 ; distribution of quartz flakes. 141 

73 Area 1 : distribution of Ramah chert flakes. 141 

74 Area 1 : distribution of black chert and gray slate flakes. 142 

75 Area 1 : distribution of utilized flakes, bipolar cores, block cores, and bifaces. 142 

76 Area 3: level 1 features. 143 

77 Area 3: soil profile. 143 

78 Area 3: overview. Feature 1 excavated. 144 

79 Area 3: vertical bipod photo. Feature 1 excavated. 144 

80 Area 3; Feature 1 . 145 

81 Area 3: Feature 1 vertical bipod photo. 145 

82 Area 3: level 2 features. 146 

83 Area 3: Feature 2. 146 

84 Area 3: Feature 3. 148 

85 Area 3; Feature 3 sectioned, showing rock cluster beneath the red ocher layer. 148 

86 Area 3: distribution of quartz flakes. 150 

87 Area 3: distribution of Ramah chert flakes. 152 

88 Area 3; distribution of slate flakes. 153 

89 Area 3: quadrat groupings used in the analyses. 154 

90 Area 3: tool distribution and fc-means cluster analysis. 154 

91 Area 3: distribution of utilized flakes. 154 

92 Area 3: distribution of block cores. 154 

93 Area 3: distribution of bipolar cores. 155 

94 Area 3; distribution of slate tools. 155 

95 Area 3: distribution of ground slate flakes. 155 

96 Area 3: distribution of other tool classes. 155 

97 Area 3: distribution of Ramah chert biface-thinning flakes. 155 

98 Nukasusutok-5: stemmed bifacial points. 156 

99 Nukasusutok-5: bifacial points and bifaces. 158 

100 Nukasusutok-5; biface fragments and flake points. 158 

101 Nukasusutok-5; bifaces and preforms. 161 

102 Nukasusutok-5; bifaces and preforms. 161 

103 Nukasusutok-5; endscrapers, flake knives, gravers, and linear flakes. 162 

104 Nukasusutok-5; stemmed flakes and flake knives. 162 

105 Nukasusutok-5; bipolar cores and disc core. 163 

106 Nukasusutok-5; bipolar core analysis variables and attributes. 164 

107 Nukasusutok-5; Area 2A bipolar core size distribution. 165 

108 Nukasusutok-5; slate and schist tools. 166 

109 Nukasusutok-5; ground slate tools. 166 
1 10 Nukasusutok-5; quartz biface and cores. 167 

111 Nukasusutok-5; slate and schist implements. 167 

112 Nukasusutok-5; slate plates and blanks. 170 

113 Nukasusutok-5; schist tablets. 170 

114 Nukasusutok-5; fragment of bone pendant, Area 2B. 171 

115 Nukasusutok-5; Area 3 flaked implements. 171 

116 Nukasusutok-5; Area 3 slate implements. 174 
1 1 7 Correspondence analysis plot of tool classes and Nukasusutok-5 subareas. 1 76 
1 18 Stacked column graph of Nukasusutok-5 flake raw materials by subarea. 179 
119 Quartz flake size distribution at Nukasusutok-5. ~ 181 



X 



FIGURES 



120 Ramah chert flake size distribution at Nukasusutok-5. 181 

121 Fine-grained chert flake size distribution at Nukasusutok-5. 181 
1 22 Slate flake size distribution at Nukasusutok-5. 1 84 

123 Nukasusutok-1 2: overview towards the southwest. 188 

124 Nukasusutok-1 2; site map. 190 

125 Nukasusutok-1 2: Structure 1 . 191 

126 Nukasusutok-1 2: Structure 1 , view towards the north. 191 

127 Nukasusutok-1 2: Structure 2. 192 

128 Nukasusutok-1 2: Structure 2, view towards the southwest. 193 
1 29 Nukasusutok-1 2: Structure 2 tool distribution and fc-means cluster analysis. 1 93 

130 Nukasusutok-1 2: Structure 2 flake distribution. 195 

131 Nukasusutok-1 2: implements from Structure 2. 197 

132 Nukasusutok l 2: soapstone vessel from Structure 2. 198 

133 Nukasusutok l 2: soapstone vessel fragments from Structure 2. 198 

134 Nukasusutok l 2: implements from Structures 3 and 4. 199 

135 Nukasusutok-1 2: implements from test-pits, surface, and Structure 201 

136 Nukasusutok l 2: implements from test-pits. 202 

137 Nukasusutok l 2: Ramah chert flake size distribution. 207 
1 38 Nain region Dorset site Ramah chert flake size distributions by frequency, using Nagle's (1 984) categories. 208 
1 39 Nain region Dorset site Ramah chert flake size distributions by weight, using Nagle's (1 984) categories. 209 
140 Nain region Dorset site distribution. 212 
1 41 Kinship relations of households at the Nukasusutok settlement, winter 1 776-1 777. 222 

142 Nukasusutok-8 site map. 226 

143 Nukasusutok-8: overview towards the southwest, August 1 928. 227 
1 44 Nukasusutok-8: House 5 overview towards the southwest, August 1 928 227 

145 Nukasusutok-8: House 5 excavation towards the west, August 1928 228 

146 Nukasusutok-S: House 5, 1992 midden test pit collection. 229 

147 Nukasusutok Island: probably Crave 2, August 1 928. 230 



148 


W. 


D. 


Strong 


Nukasusutok 


collection: 


hunting and transportation implements. 


231 


149 


W. 


D. 


Strong 


Nukasusutok 


collection: 


hunting implements. 


232 


1 50 


W. 


D. 


Strong 


Nukasusutok 


collection: 


hunting, transportation, and household implements. 


232 


1 51 


W. 


D. 


Strong 


Nukasusutok 


collection: 


hunting and household implements. 


233 


1 52 


W. 


D. 


Strong 


Nukasusutok 


collection: 


hunting and household implements. 


233 


1 53 


W. 


D. 


Strong 


Nukasusutok 


collection: 


fishing and household implements. 


234 


1 54 


W. 


D. 


Strong 


Nukasusutok 


collection: 


wooden implements. 


234 


1 55 


W. 


D. 


Strong 


Nukasusutok 


collection 


wooden box component. 


234 


1 56 


W. 


D. 


Strong 


Nukasusutok 


collection: 


soapstone lamps. 


235 


1 57 


W. 


D. 


Strong 


Nukasusutok 


collection: 


soapstone vessel rim fragments. 


235 


1 58 


W. 


D. 


Strong 


Nukasusutok 


collection. 


copper/brass decorative items. 


236 


1 59 


W. 


D. 


Strong 


Nukasusutok 


collection: 


decorative items. 


236 


160 


W. 


D. 


Strong 


Nukasusutok 


collection: 


bone decorative items. 


236 


161 


W. 


D. 


Strong 


Nukasusutok 


collection: 


lithic implements. 


237 



162 A 1 773 drawing of Caubvick by Nathaniel Dance. 238 

163 Webb Bay and inner Port Manvers Run with sites mentioned in the text. 244 

164 Port Manvers Run-1 , S-2/3: view towards the northwest. 246 

165 Port Manvers Run-1 , S-2/3: rock features. 247 

166 Port Manvers Run-1 , S-2/3: total flake distribution. 247 

167 Port Manvers Run-1, S-2/3: tool distribution and /(-means clusters. 248 

168 Port Manvers Run-1 , S-2/3: tool distribution by quadrat. 248 

169 Port Manvers Run-1 , S-2/3: tool raw material distributions. 250 

170 Port Manvers Run-1 , S-2/3: flake raw material distributions. 251 

171 Port Manvers Run-1 , S-2/3: flake size distributions. 253 

172 Port Manvers Run-1 , S-2/3: tools. 254 

173 Double Island Cove-1 , Structure 1 . 255 

174 Double Island Cove-1 , Structure 1 : tool distribution. 256 

175 Double Island Cove-1 , Structure 1 : flake distribution. 256 
1 76 Double Island Cove-1 , Structure 1 : flake distribution by quadrat. 257 

177 Double Island Cove-1 , Structure 2: tool distribution. 258 

178 Double Island Cove-1 , Structure 2: flake distribution. 258 
1 79 Tools from Double Island Cove, Sunset Point and Webb Point. 259 
1 80 Attu's Bight overview towards the southwest. 260 

181 Attu's Bight site map. 260 

182 Attu's Bight L-3/6: view towards the east. 262 

183 Attu's Bight L-3/6: excavation with flake distribution. 263 
1 84 Attu's Bight L-3/6: excavation at the edge of the in situ deposit. 264 

185 Attu's Bight L-3/6: profile. 264 

186 Attu's Bight L-3/6: tool distribution. 266 

FIGURES xi 



187 Attu's Bight L-3/6: flake distribution. 266 

188 Attu's Bight L-3/6: Ramah chert flake size distribution. 267 

189 Attu's Bight L-3/6: distribution of Ramah chert biface-thinning flakes. 268 
1 90 Attu's Bight tools. 269 
1 91 Attu's Bight tools. 269 
1 92 Attu's Point overview towards the northeast. 274 
193 Attu's Point site map. 275 
1 94 Attu's Point L-1 : rock feature and total flake distribution. 276 
1 95 Attu's Point L-1 : overview towards the east. 276 

196 Attu's Point L- 1 : tool distribution with /(-means clusters. 277 

197 Attu's Point L-1 : tool raw material distribution. 278 

198 Attu's Point L-1: flake raw material distributions. 279 
1 99 Attu's Point L-1 : flake raw materials by quadrat. 281 

200 Attu's Point L-1 tools. 284 

201 Attu's Point L-1 tools. 284 

202 Attu's Point L-1 tools. 284 

203 Attu's Point L-5: features and total flake distribution. 285 

204 Attu's Point L-5: possible axial structure, view towards the southwest. 285 

205 Attu's Point L-5: tool distribution and /c-means clusters. 286 

206 Attu's Point L-5: no provenience tools by quadrat. 289 

207 Attu's Point L-5: tool raw material distribution. 290 

208 Attu's Point L-5: flake raw material distributions. 291 

209 Attu's Point L-5: flake raw material distributions by quadrat. 293 

210 Attu's Point L-5 tools. 294 
21 1 Attu's Pomt L-5 tools. 295 

212 Attu's Point L-7: axial structure, view towards the northeast. 297 

213 Attu's Point L-7: box-hearth with thermoliths. 297 

214 Attu's Point L-7: box-hearth, thermoliths removed. 297 
21 5 Attu's Point L-7: axial structure and total flake distribution. 298 
216 Attu's Pomt L-7: tool distribution and fc-means clusters. 299 
21 7 Attu's Point L-7: tool raw material distribution. 300 

218 Attu's Point L-7: flake raw material distributions. 301 

219 Attu's Point L-7: flake raw material distributions by quadrat. . 303 

220 Attu's Point L-7 tools. 304 

221 Attu's Point L-9: axial structure. 305 

222 Attu's Point L-9 tools. 306 

223 Attu's Point surface collected tools. 306 

224 Attu's Point surface collected tools. 307 

225 Attu's Point surface collected tools. 308 

226 Attu's Point Mugford chert flake size distribution. 313 

227 Attu's Point: slate flake size distribution. 313 

228 Distribution of Late Maritime Archaic and Pre-Dorset settlement in Labrador: the macro-territorial model. 321 

229 Distribution of Late Maritime Archaic and Pre-Dorset settlement in the Nain region. 331 

230 Calibrated radiocarbon date probability distributions for Late Maritime Archaic and Pre-Dorset sites in the Nain region. 333 

231 Distribution of Pre-Dorset sites in the Okak Region. 335 

232 Distribution of Late Maritime Archaic and Pre-Dorset sites in the Hebron Fjord, Sagiek Bay and Ramah Bay regions. 336 

233 Pollen percentages for alder (AInus) and spruce (Picea) in the Nain region from 6800-2500 calB.P.. 339 

234 CISP2 ice core bidecadal oxygen isotope (dl80) data from 5800- 2500 calB.P., with logarithmic smoothing. 339 



xii 



TABLES 



tables 



1 List of archaeological sites registered on Nukasusutok Island. 54 

2 Nukasusutok-6 flake raw materials. 57 

3 Nukasusutok-1 3 flake raw material frequencies. 58 

4 Radiocarbon dates from Nukasusutok-5: Area 2 and main beach. 72 

5 Area 2A flake raw material frequencies by model units. 88 

6 Area 2A flake raw material weights by model units. 90 

7 Area 2A tool classes by model units. 91 

8 Area 2A tool raw material frequencies by model units. 101 

9 Area 2A tool raw material weights by model units. 101 

10 Area 2A tool classes, quadrats grouped by /(-means cluster. 102 

1 1 Area 2A tool raw material frequencies by fe-means cluster. 1 02 

12 Area 2A tool classes by hypothesized rectangular structure. 114 
1 3 Area 2A tool raw material frequencies and weights (in grams) by hypothesized rectangular structure. 1 1 5 
14 Area 2A flake raw material frequencies and weights (in grams) by hypothesized rectangular structure. 1 16 
1 5 Area 2A total lithic raw material weights (tools and flakes) by model units. 1 1 7 
1 6 Summary of the quartz and Ramah chert reduction systems at Area 2A. 1 1 8 
17 Area 2B tool classes by model units. 121 
1 8 Area 2B tool raw material frequencies by model units. 1 22 

19 Area 2B tool classes by /(-means cluster. 122 

20 Area 28 tool raw material frequencies by /(-means cluster. 124 

21 Area 28 flake raw material frequencies by model units. 1 26 

22 Area 28 total lithic raw material weights (tools and flakes). 1 27 

23 Summary of the quartz and Ramah chert reduction systems at Area 28. 1 28 

24 Area 2C tool classes by /(-means cluster and subarea. 1 31 

25 Area 2C tool raw material frequencies and weights by cluster and subarea. 1 32 

26 Area 2C flake raw material frequencies and weights by subarea. 1 33 

27 Area 2C flake raw material frequencies by hearth feature. 1 33 

28 Area 2C total lithic raw material weights (tools and flakes). 1 34 

29 Summary of the quartz and Ramah chert reduction systems at Area 2C. 1 36 

30 Area 1 flake raw materials by frequency and weight. 140 

31 Area 1 tool class frequencies. 140 

32 Area 3 flake raw material frequencies by feature. 147 

33 Area 3 tool class frequencies by feature. 147 

34 Area 3 tool raw material frequencies by feature. 149 

35 Area 3 total lithic raw material weights (tools and flakes). 1 51 

36 Summary of the quartz and Ramah chert reduction systems at Area 1 51 

37 Radiocarbon dates from Area 3. 151 

38 Inter-area percentage comparison of tool classes. 178 

39 Inter-area percentage comparison of tool raw materials. 178 

40 Inter-area percentage comparison of flake raw materials. 1 79 

41 Variation In elements of quartz technology at Nukasusutok-5. 180 

42 Variation in elements of Ramah chert technology at Nukasusutok-5. 1 82 

43 Variation in elements of fine-grained chert technology at Nukasusutok-5. 1 82 

44 Variation in elements of slate technology at Nukasusutok-5. 185 

45 Nukasusutok-1 2: Structure 2 tool classes in relation to the bilateral axial feature model. 194 

46 Nukasusutok-1 2: Structure 2 tool classes by front/back divisions. 194 

47 Nukasusutok-1 2: Structure 2 tool classes by /(-means cluster. 195 

48 Nukasusutok-1 2: Structure 2 tool and flake raw material frequencies. 196 

49 Nukasusutok-1 2: Structure 2 tool and flake raw material weights. 196 

50 Nukasusutok-1 2: Test pits 1 -3 tool class frequencies. 200 

51 Nukasusutok-1 2: Test pits 1-3 tool and flake raw materials by frequency. 201 

52 Nukasusutok l 2; Test pits 1 -3 tool and flake raw materials by weight. 201 

53 Comparison of Main region Dorset lithic assemblages. 206 

TABLES xiii 



54 Ramah chert tool flake ratios for Dorset sites In the Nam area. 207 

55 Distribution of biface-thlnning flakes at Nukasusutok-1 2. 207 

56 Radiocarbon dates from Nukasusutok l 2. 208 

57 Demographic data for the Nukasusutok settlement from Moravian sources. 220 

58 Fauna from the House 5 midden at Nukasusutok-8. 229 

59 Hunting-fishing tools from the Strong collection. 231 

60 Household tools from the Strong collection. 234 

61 Decorative Items from the Strong collection. 237 

62 Miscellaneous organic materials from the Strong collection. 239 

63 Port Manvers Run-1 tool classes by /c-means cluster. 249 

64 Port Manvers Run-1 tool raw material frequencies by /c-means cluster. 249 

65 Port Manvers Run-l flake raw material frequencies. 252 

66 Port Manvers Run-1 total llthic raw material weights (tools and flakes). 252 

67 Double Island Cove-1 , L-1 , S-1 : flake raw material frequencies. 257 

68 Attu's Bight L 3/6 tool class frequencies. 265 

69 Attu's Bight L-3/6 flake raw material frequencies. 265 

70 Attu's Bight L-3/6 total llthic raw material weights (flakes and tools). 267 

71 Attu's Point L-1 : tool classes by /(-means cluster. 275 

72 Attu's Point L-1 : tool classes by bilateral position. 277 

73 Attu's Point L-l tool classes by north-south (front-back) position. 277 

74 Attu's Point L-1 tool raw material frequencies by bilateral position. 278 

75 Attu's Point L-1 : tool raw material frequencies by north-south (front- back) position. 280 

76 Attu's Point L-1 tool raw material frequencies by /(-means cluster. 282 

77 Attu's Point L-1 . flake raw material frequencies by east-west bilateral position. 282 

78 Attu's Point L-1: flake raw material frequencies by north-south (front-back) position. 283 

79 Attu's Point L-1: total llthic raw material weights (tools and flakes). 283 

80 Attu's Point L-5: tool classes by /(-means cluster. 287 

81 Attu's Point L-5: tool classes by general spatial position. 288 

82 Attu's Point L-5: tool raw material frequencies by general spatial position. 288 

83 Attu's Point L-5 tool raw material frequencies by /(-means cluster. 289 

84 Attu's Point L-5: flake raw material frequencies by analytical quadrant. 290 

85 Attu's Point L-5: total llthic raw material weights (tools and flakes). 292 

86 Attu's Point L-7: tool classes by /(-means cluster. .. 298 

87 Attu's Point L-7: tool classes by structural position. 299 

88 Attu's Point L-7: tool raw material frequencies by structural position. 300 

89 Attu's Point L-7: flake raw material frequencies by structural position. 302 

90 Attu's Point L-7 total lithic raw material weights (tools and flakes). 302 

91 Attu's Point comparison of tool classes by excavated loci and other collections. 31 

92 Attu's Point: comparison of tool raw material frequencies by excavated loci and other collections. 3 1 

93 Attu's Point: comparison of flake raw material frequencies by excavated loci. 31 1 

94 Attu's Point: comparison of total llthic raw material weights by excavated loci. 31 1 

95 Radiocarbon dates for Pre-Dorset and Late Maritime Archaic sites in the Nain Region. 334 



xiv 



TABLES 




Nain. July 1978. (Photo: B.Hood) 



XV 




// Map of Labrador with places mentioned in the text. 



xvi 



CHAPTER 1 



Introduction 



The Nain region is home to the currently northernmost 
permanent settlement in Labrador (Figure 1 ). Although 
the settlement itself was established in 1771 by the 
Moravian missionaries, occupation of the island-stud- 
ded coast extends back at least 7000 years. The region 
contains a rich archaeological record of Inuit, Pre-lnuit 
(Paleoeskimo), Innu and pre-contact Indian occupa- 
tions, as well as post-contact European activity. 
Concerted archaeological research began in the area 
during the early 1970s and it could probably be said 
that the region is now the most thoroughly investigat- 
ed portion of Labrador. Relatively little of this archaeo- 
logical research has been published to date other than 
as preliminary reports, so the present volume is an 
attempt to provide more substantial documentation of 
several localities pertaining to a variety of time periods 
and cultural contexts. 

The Goals of this Text 

This book is entitled "Towards an Archaeology of the 
Nain Region" and not "The Archaeology of the Nain 
Region" because it is not intended to be a synthetic 
culture-historical work. Its primary purpose is to bring 
together the results of several years of research in two 
portions of the Nain area: Nukasusutok Island and 
Webb Bay/Port Manvers Run. Since most of the archae- 
ological data from the Nain region have been collected 
by others, it is to them that the task of synthesis 
belongs. The goals of this monograph are both broad- 
er and narrower than a culture-historical account. 



Broader, because the text endeavors to articulate some 
of the archaeological material with theoretical and 
methodological issues of wider significance. Narrower, 
because detailed descriptive reports are presented on 
a limited range of material that will constitute primary 
documentation for use in a future integration. This 
case study approach has the consequence that certain 
cultural periods are omitted (Intermediate and Late 
Pre-Contact Indian). Another consequence is that the 
chapter sequencing is not by chronological or cultural 
period but by geographical sub-region (Nukasusutok 
Island, Webb Bay/Port Manvers Run). 

The theoretical theme that runs throughout the 
book is the social structuration of space. By this is 
meant the view that space is not a passive adaptive 
stage, but an affordance that is actively constructed 
through social practice, becoming a meaningful land- 
scape imbued with social and ideological significance. 
This socially constructed affordance acts back upon 
the practice of human agents, presenting them with an 
array of constraints and opportunities for action and 
plays a generative role in the formation of individual 
and social identities. Material ecological properties and 
social action are thus enfolded in each other (for relat- 
ed but not necessarily isomorphic views see Giddens 
1979, 1984; Hood 1988; Ingold 1996, 2000; Tilley 
1 994). In this volume the structuration of space is dis- 
cussed on two scales: the spatial configuration of indi- 
vidual settlements and the organization of regional 
and supra-regional landscapes. 



INTRODUCTION 



1 



As far as the spatial organization of individual set- 
tlements is concerned, the focus is the role of 
dwellings in the structuration of social life; dwellings 
as material components of social practice. More specif- 
ically, Maritime Archaic and Paleoeskimo dwellings are 
considered here. Previous discussions of the Maritime 
Archaic have drawn somewhat divergent social infer- 
ences from dwelling structures (Fitzhugh 1981, 1984, 
1985a; Hood 1993, 1995), but the methodological 
basis for these inferences has never been spelled out 
explicitly. There have been discussions of methodolo- 
gies for analyzing Paleoeskimo dwellings (e.g., Dekin 
1976; Jensen 1996; McChee 1979; Stapert and 
Johanson 1996), but in many other cases spatial distri- 
butions are illustrated but not analyzed. Consequently, 
the main concern in Chapter 3 will be to formulate a 
strategy to connect some of our interpretive conven- 
tions with the data by means of fairly explicit analyti- 
cal arguments. Some would call this middle-range the- 
ory (Binford 1980), but here it is simply considered as 
methodological strategy. An explicit discussion of 
methodology is necessary because "interpretive 
archaeology" (which is linked with some of the views 
mentioned above) has often presented narratives that 
lack adequate justification of their claims to have rec- 
ognized a meaningful pattern in the archaeological 
record. Such interpretations constitute weak assertions 
or advocacy statements rather than analytical argu- 
ments and are thus subject to accusations that they 
present a "past as wished for" (Renfrew 1 989:36). They 
leap to interpret cultural context, but often fail to 
engage the archaeological record as an archaeological 
phenomenon. 

The methodological strategy outlined in Chapter 3 
is applied to some, but not all of the material dis- 
cussed herein. It is most systematically applied in 
analyses of the two sites with the best data bases: an 
Early-Middle Maritime Archaic site, Nukasusutok-5 
(Chapters 5, 6 and 7), and a Pre-Dorset site, Attu's 
Point (Chapter 1 3). More limited in scope are the analy- 
ses of an Early/Middle Dorset locality, Nukasusutok 1 2 



(Chapter 10) and the Pre-Dorset site Port Manvers Run- 
1 (Chapter 12). Other chapters are more descriptive in 
character, providing brief overviews of the smaller or 
less well-investigated sites on Nukasusutok Island 
(Chapter 4) and in the Webb Bay Port-Manvers Run area 
(Chapter 12). 

The discussion of regional landscape organization 
is taken up primarily in Chapter 14, which considers 
the problem of Pre-Dorset/Maritime Archaic social 
boundary relations. This chapter is also a reflection 
upon how a specific problem in subarctic archaeology 
resonates with implications for the broader debates 
between the competing archaeological ontologies of 
humans as adaptive beings in nature versus humans as 
cultural beings constructing their own worlds of signif- 
icance. The problem of working in the area of tension 
between these "paradigms" is highlighted. Regional 
and supra-regional spatial relations are also briefly 
touched upon in Chapter 1 1, which outlines data con- 
cerning the 1 S*-*^ and early 1 9*^*^ century Inuit occupa- 
tion of Nukasusutok Island. The primary goal of the 
chapter is to present an overview of collections made 
in 1 928 by William Duncan Strong and relate them to 
the ethnohistorically documented Inuit settlement. In 
the process, some fascinating yet highly fragmentary 
glimpses can be had of Inuit life during a time of 
marked changes in settlement and society during the 
contact period. These changes played out on both the 
local and supra-regional spatial scales, and were linked 
with the global expansion of the European capitalist 
World System. 

The remainder of this introductory chapter pro- 
vides a background to the descriptive and analytical 
components to follow. First up is a brief overview of 
archaeological research history in northern Labrador 
that focuses on what is most relevant for contextualiz- 
ing the issues dealt with in the present volume. The 
aim is to show how the present work grew out of the 
existing tradition and how some of the questions han- 
dled here were formulated within this tradition. This 
overview is followed by a short outline of north-central 



2 



CHAPTER 1 



Labrador culture-history to provide the reader with a 
framework into which the empirical fragments of this 
volume can be inserted. Thereafter, Chapter 2 
describes the environmental context of the Nain 
region. 

A Brief History of Archaeological Research in 
the Nain Region and Adjacent Areas 

The first professional archaeological fieldwork in the 
Nain region was undertaken by William Duncan Strong 
in conjunction with the Rawson-MacMillan Subarctic 
Expedition of 1927-28. Strong conducted ethnograph- 
ic research among the Davis Inlet and Barren Ground 
Innu (Naskapi) (Leacock and Rothschild 1994; 
VanStone 1985) and undertook archaeological surveys 
along the central coast between Hopedale and Nain. 
Three archaeological sites near Hopedale produced 
distinctive artifacts that led Strong to postulate the 
existence of an "Old Stone Culture" for Labrador 
(Strong 1930). He concluded that this "Old Stone 
Culture" was an early Indian complex from which 
Eskimo culture developed. In the course of his work 
Strong also investigated prehistoric and historic Inult 
sites, including those on Nukasusutok Island, but this 
material was never published except for osteologlcal 
material taken from graves (Stewart 1939). In 1933 
and 1 934, Junius B. Bird (1 945) investigated early con- 
tact period Inult houses in the Hopedale area. Many 
years later, ethnohistorian J. Garth Taylor (1966) visit- 
ed the Nukasusutok settlement as part of his survey of 
18'^^ century Labrador Inult settlements in the Nain 
and Okak regions- 

Until the late 1960s there existed only a sketchy 
outline of Labrador prehistory based on Elmer Harp's 
(1963) work in the Strait of Belle Isle, in which he 
defined the "Boreal Archaic." William Fitzhugh's 
research In the Hamilton Inlet region between 1968 
and 1 972 (Fitzhugh 1972, 1975, 1976, 1978) provid- 
ed the first culture-history for central Labrador. 
Fitzhugh also conducted surveys at Thalia Point north 
of Nain in 1 971 and 1 973, which revealed the first evi- 



dence for Pre-Dorset In the Nain region (Fitzhugh 
1 976:1 03). Between 1 967-1 969, James Tuck excavat- 
ed the important cemetery at Port au Choix, 
Newfoundland, which led him to define the Maritime 
Archaic Tradition (Tuck 1971, 1976a). Tuck then 
undertook a project at Sagiek Bay in northern Labrador 
from 1969-71, an important result of which was evi- 
dence for the temporal and geographical overlap of 
Maritime Archaic and Pre-Dorset. Tuck (1 975:1 95-1 96) 
speculated on the possibility of technological 
exchanges between the two cultures. 

From 1 973 to 1 975 the scale of Fitzhugh's efforts 
expanded considerably. In 1973 Fitzhugh (1973) con- 
ducted a survey of the central coast from Hamilton 
Inlet to Nain. The Nain area was the center of surveys 
and excavations from 1974-1976, punctuated by the 
excavation of a Maritime Archaic cemetery at Rattlers 
Bight In Hamilton Inlet in 1 975 and additional surveys 
of the central coast (Fitzhugh 1976). Related to 
Fitzhugh's work was Richard Jordan's investigation of 
contact period Inult houses at Hamilton Inlet in 1973 
and 1 975 (R. Jordan 1974, 1978), which focused on 
socio-economic changes from the 1 7^^ to 1 9^'^ cen- 
turies. Jordan's work provided an archaeological con- 
text for J. Garth Taylor's (1974) ethnohistoric research 
on the 1 8*^*^ century communal house period. 
Additionally, Steven Cox conducted surveys and exca- 
vations In the Okak region In 1974 and 1 975. Cox's 
(1 977) work continued the theme of settlement pattern 
analysis begun by Fitzhugh at Hamilton Inlet and made 
important contributions to Maritime Archaic, Pre- 
Dorset and Dorset culture-history. 

Elsewhere, in 1973 and 1974 Robert McGhee and 
James Tuck (1975) built upon Harp's earlier surveys 
along the Strait of Belle Isle and pushed the occupation 
history of the region back to at least 8500 B.P. (Renouf 
1977). Their work also provided evidence of early 
Maritime Archaic mortuary ceremonialism at 7500 B.P. 
(McGhee and Tuck 1 975: Tuck and McGhee 1 975; Tuck 
1975). From 1973 to 1977, Gilles Samson followed up 
Geoffrey Conrad's initial reconnaissance at Indian 



INTRODUCTION 



3 



House Lake in the Quebec-Labrador interior with fur- 
ther surveys, excavations and paleoenvironmental 
research. Although settlement seems to have been 
sporadic until the Innu occupation of the historic peri- 
od, Samson (1978) discovered several sites attributa- 
ble to the Maritime Archaic Tradition. 

By the late 1 970s, Smithsonian fieldwork had pro- 
duced a solid outline of central and north-central coast 
culture-history (e.g., Cox 1978; Fitzhugh 1977, 
1978a,b; R.Jordan 1978; Nagle 1978). In 1977 and 
1978 the Smithsonian Torngat Archaeological Project 
extended research northwards along the Torngat 
Mountain coast all the way to Killinek and the Button 
Islands (Fitzhugh 1980). Major concentrations of 
Maritime Archaic and Pre-Dorset settlement were iden- 
tified in the more southerly section of the project area 
near Hebron Fiord. It was on the 1978 season of the 
Torngat project that the author was initiated into 
Labrador archaeology, acquiring a particular taste for 
the Maritime Archaic and Pre-Dorset. The author 
returned to Labrador in 1979 to undertake a small 
scale excavation on a Maritime Archaic site in the Nain 
area, which was continued in 1980 (Hood 1981). 

In 1980 Fitzhugh began the first of several sea- 
sons of fieldwork devoted primarily to further study of 
the Maritime Archaic. An important focus of this work 
was the development of Maritime Archaic dwelling 
structures from small single-family boulder-pits to 
multi-family longhouses (Fitzhugh 1981, 1984, 1985a, 
1985b, 1986). The question of Maritime Archaic/Pre- 
Dorset cultural boundaries was also explored 
(Fitzhugh 1 984). During the 1 980s a number of other 
Smithsonian-related researchers were active in 
Labrador. Stephen Loring undertook surveys of the 
inner bays and islands of the Davis Inlet and Nain 
regions, focussing on late pre-contact Innu archaeolo- 
gy (Loring 1983, 1985, 1989, 1992), while Susan 
Kaplan continued her research on historic Labrador 
Inuit settlement and socio-economic change, which 
included investigations of a Thule component on 
Iglosiatik Island southeast of Nain (Kaplan 1983). 



Galium Thomson conducted several years of surveys 
and excavations at Sagiek Bay in the Torngat region 
(Thomson 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1989), 
uncovering further evidence of Maritime Archaic and 
Pre-Dorset occupation, as well as data pertaining to 
other cultures and periods, particularly Late Dorset. 
Cox (1 988) investigated an important Pre-Dorset locale 
at Nuasornak Island in the Okak region. 

Compared with earlier periods, during the late 
1 980s and early 1 990s northern Labrador archaeology 
was relatively quiescent. Kaplan continued with inves- 
tigations of historic Inuit occupation in the Nain and 
Okak regions, and Loring conducted excavations of 
contact period Inuit material at the Nain Moravian mis- 
sion and in the Torngats (Loring 1 998) as well as work- 
ing with the Innu at interior locations. The author 
undertook small scale investigations in the Nain area 
from 1992-1994, which constitute the basis for some 
of the chapters in this volume. 

The nature of Labrador archaeology changed dra- 
matically in 1995 with the first phase of environmental 
impact studies associated with the Voisey's Bay nickel 
find. An intensive survey of the mining concession area 
between Voisey's Bay and Anaktalak Bay was undertak- 
en in 1996 (Hood and Baikie 1998a; Labreche et al. 
1997) and exploratory drilling sites all over the Nain 
area and in other parts of Labrador were investigated 
by contract archaeologists. Mitigation-related field- 
work has been sporadic in the Nain area in recent 
years, but Loring has continued with fieldwork direct- 
ed towards pre-contact and Innu sites in the interior 
(Loring 2001) and historic Inuit material in the 
Makkovik region, while Kaplan has continued her work 
with Inuit occupation at Okak. In 1997 the author 
undertook survey work in the Hebron and Napartok 
Bay regions aimed at supplementing data on Maritime 
Archaic/Pre-Dorset social boundaries (Hood 1998a). 

The research tradition outlined here has empha- 
sized a number of themes that provide a context for 
the discussions in this volume. Of primary importance 
is Fitzhugh's (1984, 1985a) work on the Maritime 



4 



CHAPTER 1 



Archaic, including dwelling site organization and social 
inferences from temporal changes in dwelling struc- 
tures, mortuary ceremonialism and Ramah chert pro- 
curement and exchange. The spatial analyses of the 
Early-Middle Maritime Archaic site Nukasusutok-5 pre- 
sented in Chapter 6 are formulated in light of these 
discussions of social organization. A second theme in 
the research tradition is Fitzhugh's (1984) and Tuck's 
(1975) interpretations of Maritime Archaic and Pre- 
Dorset social boundary relationships, which reflects 
the concern for Indian/lnuit contacts that has been a 
constant leitmotif since the genesis of discourse on 
northern archaeology and anthropology (Fitzhugh 
1987; Hood 1998b). The discussion of Maritime 
Archaic/Pre-Dorset boundary relations in Chapter 14 is 
an elaboration on that established theme. 

Another primary structuring element in Labrador 
archaeology has been the focus on cultural adapta- 
tions, as seen through settlement patterns and the 
lense of Steward's (1955) cultural ecology (Fitzhugh 
1972) and biogeographic theory (Fitzhugh 1997). 
During the early- to mid-1970s a series of hypotheses 
was proposed which related changes in Indian and 
Paleoeskimo/lnuit population distributions to environ- 
mental change (e.g., Fitzhugh 1972, 1977). Although 
accumulating research eventually suggested the postu- 
lated links between culture change and environmental 
change were too simplistic (Fitzhugh and Lamb 1985), 
much of northern archaeology continues to pursue a 
rather reductionist ecological program (Hood 1998b). 
Consequently, one of the strands woven into this vol- 
ume is a desire to place greater emphasis on internal 
social process and agency, while at the same time sit- 
uating social strategies within the natural world. Thus, 
a portion of Chapter 1 4 uses the Pre-Dorset/ Maritime 
Archaic boundary issue to reflect upon the possibilities 
of an ecology of social practice. 

The next section is an overview of northern 
Labrador culture-history that provides a framework for 
positioning the data and interpretations presented in 
the following chapters. There has been no systematic 



updated overview of Labrador culture-history since a 
series of papers published in 1978 {Arctic 
Anthropology) and 1980 (Arctic), so that 2 5 year old 
framework must still be used as a point of reference. 
But since the goal of this volume is primarily analysis 
and interpretation rather than revamping the culture- 
history, this basic framework is adequate for the task 
at hand. 

Outline of Central and Northern Labrador 
Culture-History 

Figure 2 presents an outline of central and northern 
Labrador culture-history. Following the tradition with 
such charts, there is a basic division between Innu/pre- 
contact Indian and Inuit/Paleoeskimo cultures as well 
as a distinction between the central coast (Hamilton 
Inlet) and north coast sequences. The textual overview 
is weighted towards the north coast and some of the 
problems discussed in this volume. It is divided into 
separate Innu/pre-contact Indian and Inuit/Pre-lnuit 
("Eskimo") sequences. 

Innu/Pre-Contact Indian Sequence 

Maritime Archaic 

Whether considered as late Paleo-lndian or Early 
Archaic, populations ancestral to the Maritime Archaic 
probably colonized southern Labrador by ca. 8500 
B.P.. Their assemblages are marked by triangular 
points of quartz and quartzite, small quartz scrapers 
and bipolar cores (McGhee and Tuck 1975; Renouf 
1977). The archaeological record of the Labrador side 
of the Strait of Belle Isle shows a subsequent continu- 
ous development through the Middle and Late Archaic, 
as seen in a shift from nipple-based points to forms 
with well-defined stems (McChee and Tuck 1 975). The 
distinctive mortuary ceremonialism that is one of the 
defining characteristics of the Maritime Archaic first 
appears at the L'Anse Amour burial mound, dated ca. 
7500 B.P. (McGhee and Tuck 1 975). By 7500-7000 B.P., 
Early Maritime Archaic populations were present on 
the central coast of Labrador at Hamilton Inlet 



INTRODUCTION 



5 



BP 



Hamilton Inlet 


North Coast 


Interior 


Coast 


Innu 


Inuit 



1000 — 



2000 - 



3000 - 



4000 



5000 



6000 



7000 - 



c 

(0 

c 



TO 

T5 

E 

C 



Point Revenge Complex 



Northwest River 
Phase 



David Michelin 
Complex 

Road Component 

Charles Complex 

Brinex Complex 

Little Lake 
Component 



Daniel Rattle 
Complex 



- 1000 



Late 




2000 



Groswater 



Saunders 
Complex 



- 3000 



Rattler's Bight Phase 



Pre-Dorset 



o 

'03 

sz 
o 

< 

E 

CD 



Black Island 
Complex 



Sandy Cove 
Complex 



Nukasusutok-5 



Naksak 
Complex 



Hound Pond-4 



BP 



4000 



— 5000 



- 6000 



7000 



2/ Culture-history chart for central and northern Labrador. 



6 



CHAPTER 1 



(Fitzhugh 1978a:69) and in the Nain region at 
Ballybrack-1 0, where two burial mounds resembling 
those at L'Anse Amour were excavated (Fitzhugh 
1978a:82, 86-87). Ballybrack Mound-2 was dated 
7065±70 B.P.. 

The Early to Middle Maritime Archaic in the Nain 
and Okak regions was grouped within a vaguely 
defined Naksak Complex (Fitzhugh 1978a:72) which 
extended from 7000-5000 B.P.. The earliest compo- 
nents contain nipple-based points, lanceolate bi-point- 
ed bifaces, triangular points and side-notched bifaces 
of Ramah chert, quartz and quartzite, endscrapers of 
Mugford chert, a ground slate component of celts, 
adzes and gouges, with occasional ulus and projectile 
points, and a high frequency of bipolar cores {pieces 
escjuillees). Lithic raw materials are dominated by 
quartz, although this is mostly used for flake produc- 
tion through bipolar percussion, but there are also 
varying quantities of Ramah chert, Mugford cherts, 
slate and quartzite (Fitzhugh 1978a:72). Sites of the 
partly overlapping Sandy Cove Complex (6000-4500 
B.P.) at Hamilton Inlet exhibit similarities in stemmed 
points and in the predominance of quartz debitage 
and bipolar cores, but they lack endscrapers. Moderate 
frequencies of Ramah chert in the Nain area sites indi- 
cate regular excursions to the chert sources at Ramah 
Bay 300 km to the north, but the paucity of Ramah 
chert at Hamilton Inlet suggests that supply lines were 
mostly restricted to the north at this time. 

A raised beach sequence at Aillik, near Makkovik, 
in combination with several other localities, produced 
evidence of temporal changes in the form of Maritime 
Archaic dwelling structures (Fitzhugh 1984). Prior to 
6000 B.P., dwellings consisted of small boulder pit- 
houses, 3.0-3.5 m in diameter, and rectangular surface 
tent rings partitioned into two to five segments by rock 
dividers. Fitzhugh (2002:7) reports a radiocarbon date 
of 6870±1 80 B.P. for a 1 m long, four segment struc- 
ture at Aillik, and a date of 6400±1 1 B.P. from an 8 m 
long, five segment structure from the same beach 
level. During the course of the sixth millennium B.P. 



there was a development towards larger rectangular 
structures 9-16 m long divided into three or four seg- 
ments (Fitzhugh 1 984, 1 985a). The pit-houses and rec- 
tangular structures may represent spring and fall sites 
(Fitzhugh 1 985a:88), but the settlement pattern of the 
Early-Middle Maritime Archaic is by no means clear. 
The general model has been one of outer coastal set- 
tlement from spring to fall and inner bay settlement in 
fall and winter (Fitzhugh 1 978a;83-84), but the limited 
work in the inner bays and near interior has not pro- 
duced evidence for probable winter sites, although 
new Maritime Archaic localities have been identified 
(Labreche et al. 1997; Loring 2001). 

The period between 5000-4200 B.P. is perhaps the 
most poorly known part of the northern Labrador 
Maritime Archaic sequence. Components dated to this 
time have been identified in the Nain and Okak regions 
(Cox 1 977:1 84-1 94; Fitzhugh 1 978a:77), with the gen- 
eral impression that they exhibit stylistic development 
towards later Rattlers Bight Phase tool forms. At 
Hamilton Inlet there is an intrusion of southern 
Labrador-affiliated Maritime Archaic material between 
4500-4200 B.P.— the Black Island Complex (Fitzhugh 
1975, 1 978a:69-70)— marked by side-notched projec- 
tile points and rhyolitic chert raw materials. Linear dis- 
tributions of hearths at Okak-2 and Black lsland-2 sug- 
gest the use of longhouse tent dwellings ranging from 
30-50 m long (Fitzhugh 1981:17-18). 

The Late Maritime Archaic Rattlers Bight Phase 
(4200-3500 B.P.) is the most thoroughly investigated 
part of the Maritime Archaic time sequence, mainly 
through excavations of large habitation sites at 
Hamilton Inlet (Fitzhugh 1 972, 1975, 1 978a) and at 
Nulliak Cove north of Hebron Fjord (Fitzhugh 1981, 
1984, 1985a). At Rattlers Bight in Hamilton Inlet a 
small cemetery consisting of nine red ocher burials 
had grave goods that included chunks and tools of 
Ramah chert, soapstone implements, ground slate 
tools, mica sheets and copper. Differences in the dis- 
tribution of grave goods between the burials led 
Fitzhugh (1978a:85, 2002) to suggest some degree of 



INTRODUCTION 



7 



status differentiation. At Nulliak Cove, two of four 
boulder-constructed burial mounds were excavated. 
Mound 1 contained ca. 90 artifacts in a red ocher-lined 
pit, including Ramah chert points and bifaces, slate 
celts and mica sheets, while Mound 2 contained fewer 
grave goods: a Ramah chert point, a copper pendant, 
mica and a walrus tusk (Fitzhugh 1981:12, 2002). 
From the same period, the Port au Choix cemetery on 
the west coast of Newfoundland contained the remains 
of 100 individuals (Tuck 1976). During this phase the 
Labrador flaked stone technology was almost totally 
composed of Ramah chert. The occurrence of Ramah 
chert in contemporary sites along the U.S. east coast, 
as well as the presence in Labrador Maritime Archaic 
sites of non-local materials such as soapstone, mica 
and copper, indicates the operation of widespread 
exchange systems. 

The apparent increase in the size of Maritime 
Archaic dwellings noted after 5000 B.P. reached its 
peak in the Rattlers Bight Phase, with longhouse fea- 
tures ranging in size from 15-100 m long. In most 
cases these have been inferred from linear distribu- 
tions of hearths and lithic materials representing the 
remains of surface tent structures, but in one exempla- 
ry case at Aillik (Makkovik) a 28 m long structure divid- 
ed into seven internal segments was excavated into a 
cobble beach (Fitzhugh 1981, 1984, 1985a). If the 
marked segments and hearth-centered lithic distribu- 
tions can be interpreted as individual family living 
floors, then these longhouses may have housed 50- 
100 individuals (Fitzhugh 1984:20). At Nulliak Cove, 
north of Hebron Fjord, there are traces of 27 such 
structures, suggesting the site was a repeatedly used 
staging area for expeditions to the Ramah chert quar- 
ries (Fitzhugh 1 985b:49-50). Seen as a whole, the evi- 
dence for large co-residential groups, mortuary dis- 
tinctions and exchange systems has suggested some 
form of social "complexity" had developed during the 
Late Maritime Archaic, although it is by no means clear 
how that complexity should be characterized (Fitzhugh 
1981, 1985a, 2002, 2006; Hood 1993, 1995). 



The disappearance of the northern Labrador 
Maritime Archaic from the archaeological record after 
3500 B.P. remains one of the most vexing problems in 
Labrador prehistory. This occurred after a several hun- 
dred year co-existence with the Pre-Dorset 
Paleoeskimo people, who colonized Labrador ca. 4000 
B.P.. About the time the Maritime Archaic disappeared 
another Indian sequence began: a series of 
Intermediate Indian complexes. 

Intermediate Indians 

The Intermediate Indian period of Labrador began ca. 
3500 B.P. and continued until 1500 B.P. at Hamilton 
Inlet, but only until 2800 B.P. on the north-central 
coast (Fitzhugh 1 972; Nagle 1 978). The Hamilton Inlet 
sequence is marked by a discontinuous series of six 
archaeological units. Most of these assemblages are 
dominated by interior cherts and quartzites which, 
together with implement styles, suggest affiliation 
with interior-based cultural traditions. On the north- 
central coast another archaeological unit has been 
defined: the Saunders Complex (3500-2800 B.P.). This 
complex has stylistic similarities with the Brinex and 
Charles Complexes at Hamilton Inlet, but contains con- 
siderable quantities of chert from the Cape Mugford 
region north of Okak Bay. Sites consist of cobble 
hearths and lithic scatters and occur mostly in inner 
bay and inner island contexts. Traces of the Saunders 
Complex have been found as far north as Hebron Fjord 
(Hood 1 998a; Nagle 1 978). This coastal activity opens 
up the possibilities for interactions with Late Pre- 
Dorset peoples. After the disappearance of the 
Saunders Complex there is, as yet, no archaeological 
evidence for Indian occupation of the north-central 
coast until the Late Pre-Contact Period. 

Late Pre-Contact Indians 

The Late Pre-Contact Indian occupation of central and 
northern Labrador has been divided into two archaeo- 
logical units. The Daniel Rattle Complex (1800-1000 
B.P.) differs from the earlier Intermediate Indian com- 



8 



CHAPTER 1 



plexes in its near exclusive use of Ramah chert for 
stone tools. Its settlement pattern is broadly similar to 
the preceding Saunders Complex, with most sites situ- 
ated in inner bay and inner island locations, but there 
are also sites on exposed headlands suggestive of 
greater use of marine resources. No sites have been 
found north of the Nain area. Traces of large tent 
structures resembling the ethnographically document- 
ed Innu shaputuan have been identified; these were 
multi-family longhouses that could be used for ritual 
purposes. Given the contemporary presence of Middle 
Dorset occupation in the Nain region and the rest of 
northern Labrador, the heavy use of Ramah chert by 
Daniel Rattle groups raises questions concerning the 
role of Dorset peoples in chert acquisition (Loring 
1992:329-342). 

The Point Revenge Complex (1 000-400 B.P.) devel- 
oped out of the Daniel Rattle Complex and must repre- 
sent an ancestral Innu population. Settlement sites are 
found as far north as Nain, while trace occurrences of 
Point Revenge material are found as far north as Sagiek 
Bay. Settlement remains include a large tent ring 
(Fitzhugh 1978b), hearths and concentrations of 
crushed calcined bone. Like Daniel Rattle, Point 
Revenge sites are also marked by near-exclusive use of 
Ramah chert, so questions of cultural interaction with 
Late Dorset and Thule populations are pertinent 
(Loring 1992:343-408). 

Inuit/Pre-lnuit Sequence 

Pre-Dorset 

The Pre-Dorset colonization of northern Labrador ca. 
4000 B.P. (Fitzhugh (2002:142, 145; 2006) marks the 
first arrival of Paleoeskimo people in northern 
Labrador. They brought with them an Arctic Small Tool 
Tradition technology composed of microblades, burins 
and harpoon delivery systems that differed radically 
from their Maritime Archaic contemporaries. Their 
choice of lithic materials was heavily weighted towards 
the fine-grained cherts found in the Cape Mugford 
region north of Okak, although varying amounts of 



Ramah chert and slate were also employed. Early Pre- 
Dorset materials are mostly found in northern 
Labrador as far south as the Nain area; the southern- 
most site is situated at Windy Tickle north of Hopedale 
(Fitzhugh 1977:21). Late Pre-Dorset sites (3500-2800 
B.P.) are relatively few, but this may be partly a visibil- 
ity problem resulting from limited typological change 
over time and few radiocarbon dates (Cox 1978, 
1988). By 3000-2800 B.P. there are clear indications 
that Pre-Dorset began developing in situ into what is 
termed the Croswater Phase. 

Pre-Dorset settlement patterns are assumed to be 
similar to those of the Maritime Archaic, involving 
spring-fall occupation of outer coastal areas and fall- 
winter use of the inner bay areas. But as with the 
Maritime Archaic there are no convincing candidates 
for inner bay winter sites. Compared with the Late 
Maritime Archaic multi-family longhouse settlements, 
Pre-Dorset sites are small, consisting of 1-3 tent 
dwellings. In some cases Pre-Dorset sites consist only 
of lithic scatters, in other cases traces of a hearth or 
tent ring may be present. Several well-preserved axial 
structures with box-hearths and heating rocks have 
been identified. 

Pre-Dorset and Maritime Archaic populations over- 
lapped between 4000-3500 B.P.. The social boundary 
relationship between the two cultures is one of the 
important questions of Labrador archaeology and may 
be an significant factor in the eventual disappearance 
of the Maritime Archaic. Similar boundary questions 
might be raised regarding Pre-Dorset and the 
Intermediate Indian Saunders Complex. 

Croswater Phase 

By 2800 B.P. the stylistic changes in Late Pre-Dorset 
are sufficient to mark the emergence of the Croswater 
Phase. Microblades increase in frequency, distinctive 
side-notched flat-based harpoon endblades appear, as 
does an array of side-notched bifaces, while burins are 
now side-notched and facially ground. Lithic materials 
consist of a combination of radiolarian cherts from the 



INTRODUCTION 



9 



Newfoundland west coast and Ramah chert. Groswater 
settlement is concentrated in Newfoundland, southern 
Labrador and the central Labrador coast north to 
Postville. Relatively few Groswater localities have been 
registered on the north coast of Labrador. Settlement 
patterns are characterized as similar to Pre-Dorset, 
with spring-fall occupation of the outer coast and fall- 
winter sites in the inner bays. In this case, however, 
there is at least one good candidate for an inner bay 
winter site, at Postville on Kaipokok Bay (Loring and 
Cox 1986). Groswater dwellings consist of slab pave- 
ments with box-hearths (Cox 1978; Fitzhugh 1972; 
Loring and Cox 1986). Labrador Groswater has been 
dated as late as 2200 B.P.. 

Dorset 

About 2500 B.P., populations similar to central Arctic 
Early Dorset colonized northern Labrador, moving as 
far south as the Nain-Okak regions. Early Dorset dif- 
fered substantially from Groswater, with whom they 
overlapped for a few hundred years. The Early Dorset 
(2500-2000 B.P.) tool assemblage included tip-fluted 
harpoon endblades, nephrite burin-like tools, soap- 
stone vessels and near-exclusive use of Ramah chert 
for flaked tools. They also utilized semi-subterranean 
winter houses (Cox 1978). Relatively few Early Dorset 
sites have been registered; the major localities are 
located at Okak and Seven Islands Bay in the northern 
Torngat Mountain region (Fitzhugh 1 980). It is not cer- 
tain whether Early Dorset developed locally into the 
Middle Dorset phase (2000-1400 B.P.), but the large 
number of Middle Dorset sites constitute the most 
extensive Dorset occupation of the Labrador coast. 
Traces between Nain and Hamilton Inlet are limited, 
but several sites are known along the coast south of 
Hamilton Inlet (Stopp 1 997). This was also a period of 
major Dorset activity on the island of Newfoundland 
(Renouf 1 993). Middle Dorset settlement patterns were 
anchored at winter semi-subterranean house sites, 
often in outer island locations within several kilome- 
ters of the landfast ice-edge. Some of these sites seem 



to have been based on fall-early winter sealing, with 
mid-winter to early spring movement to camps closer 
to the ice-edge, while others contain significant com- 
ponents of walrus that suggest occupation in mid-win- 
ter and spring (Cox and Spiess 1980). Cox and Spiess 
(1980) suggested that Middle Dorset lacked breathing 
hole sealing techniques. Spring-fall settlement, associ- 
ated with tent ring dwellings, was spread over outer 
and inner coastal islands in the Nain and Okak areas. 
The degree to which the inner bays and fjords were 
used seems to vary regionally, although this may be an 
artifact of survey coverage. Middle Dorset sites are vir- 
tually absent from the inner bays of the Nain region 
and are sparse on the inner islands. At Okak sites are 
also lacking in the inner bays but they are common on 
the inner islands. There is little evidence of Dorset 
activity in the inner reaches of Sagiek Bay (Thomson 
1986), but sod houses are known from inner fjord 
locations at Nachvak and Hebron (Cox and Spiess 
1980; Fitzhugh 1980; Hood 1998a). Analysis of the 
distribution patterns of Ramah chert, soapstone, and 
Newfoundland cherts indicates the operation of 
exchange networks and population movement along 
the Labrador coast (Nagle 1984). 

Late Dorset (1400-800 B.P.) occupation of 
Labrador was less extensive than during the Middle 
Dorset Period, being limited to the Nain region and 
northwards. There were shifts in tool types and settle- 
ment characteristics that raise questions about cultur- 
al continuity with Middle Dorset. Semi-subterranean 
houses were shallower and lacked middens, suggest- 
ing use limited to fall and early winter, with mid-winter 
to spring use of snow houses (Cox 1978; Fitzhugh 
1980). The presence of Ramah chert-using Late Pre- 
Contact Indian groups along the central coast and in 
the Nain-Okak areas during both the Middle and Late 
Dorset periods means that questions of social bound- 
aries and interaction need to be considered. 



10 



CHAPTER 1 



Thule/lnuit 

The earliest dates attributed to the Thule colonization 
of Labrador range between 800-600 B.P. (AD 1000- 
1 400; Fitzhugh 1 994), but the tendency of Thule to re- 
occupy Late Dorset house sites raises problems of dat- 
ing context. At present it seems best to regard the ear- 
liest dates as uncertain and the Thule arrival in 
Labrador as dating sometime after AD 1250-1300. 
Given the dating problems it is uncertain whether early 
Thule peoples would have encountered Late Dorset 
populations in northern Labrador. The Thule culture 
brought to Labrador a very different organizational 
system than that found in Dorset, marked by bowhead 
whale hunting and the expanded transport possibili- 
ties of dog sleds and large boats (umiaks). During the 
earliest period of Thule/lnuit occupation (AD 1 300- 
1 600), their winter settlements were marked by round 
houses constructed of stone, wood, whalebone and 
sod, with entrance passages, cold traps and rear sleep- 
ing platforms. Sometimes houses shared a common 
entrance passage. Snow houses were also used during 
the winter and in the spring, and tent dwellings and 
stone-walled shelters from spring to fall. Lack of bone 
preservation in the middens limits the range of infer- 
ences that can be drawn concerning subsistence-set- 
tlement patterns, but sea mammal exploitation was 
probably central. Tools of organic materials are also 
poorly preserved, but the lithic material is marked by 
drilled slate harpoon endblades, ulus, nephrite tools, 
and soapstone vessels (Kaplan 1983:216-230). Early 
Contact Period Thule is represented in the Nain region 
by sod houses at the lglosiatik-1 site, some with traces 
of metal, that apparently date to the early 16'^'^ centu- 
ry (Fitzhugh 1994:258; Kaplan 1983:216, 455-462). 

R. Jordan (1977, 1978) and Jordan and Kaplan 
(1980) maintained that the 17"^*^ century Inuit settle- 
ment in Hamilton Inlet represented the southernmost 
permanent Inuit occupation and that Inuit activity in 
southern Labrador during the 1 6*^^ -1 8'^'^ centuries was 
limited to seasonal trading with Europeans and the 
raiding of their establishments. But documentary infor- 



mation and archaeological data suggest the Inuit pres- 
ence in southern Labrador was a more substantial 
year-round occupation that began in the mid-1 500s, 
concomitant with expanding European fishing and 
whaling (Basque, French, English, Portugese and 
Spanish) and lasted until the mid-1 700s, when the 
increasing scale of European activity may have led to a 
contraction of Inuit occupancy towards Hamilton Inlet 
(Auger 1 991 ; Martijn and Clermont 1 980; Stopp 2002). 
The 1 7^^ century Inuit settlement of the north-central 
coast was marked by houses similar to Thule forms 
and the continued use of lithic tools, except at 
Hamilton Inlet where slate and nephrite were replaced 
by metal. European goods, possibly Basque and Dutch, 
were common at Hamilton Inlet and Hopedale, but 
generally rare further north (Kaplan 1 983:230-235). 

During the 18*^*^ century a series of changes 
occurred, with a shift towards larger multi-family com- 
munal houses in northern Labrador and increasing 
replacement of traditional material culture with 
European goods. These goods were obtained from 
French traders at Chateau Bay and Hamilton Inlet and 
then later from English traders in the Cape Charles 
region and the Moravian missionary centers that were 
established in north-central Labrador in the years after 
1771. The multi-family households were sometimes 
led by "big-man" traders, middlemen in the baleen 
trade with the Europeans (R. Jordan 1978; Jordan and 
Kaplan 1980; Kaplan 1983, 1985; Taylor 1974). 
Christianization of most of the north-central coast 
Inuit occurred by the second decade of the 1 9*^*^ centu- 
ry, which resulted in a seasonal centralization of settle- 
ment at the missions and a shift to single-family hous- 
ing. But non-Christian Inuit continued to dominate 
northernmost Labrador until the gradual establish- 
ment of more northerly missions in 1830 and there- 
after (Loring 1 998). 



INTRODUCTION 



Environment of tne Nain Reeion 



Labrador is a land of sharp contrasts. Its coast is an 
almost 1 200 km long ecotone in which arctic and sub- 
arctic environments are juxtaposed. The cold south- 
ward flowing Labrador Current carries pack ice along 
the coast and contributes to the formation of extensive 
landfast ice during the winter. A narrow coastal strip of 
tundra vegetation extends all the way from Killinek in 
the north to the Strait of Belle Isle in the south. In con- 
trast, the vast interior is covered with boreal forest, 
bogs and innumerable lakes. The present northern 
limit of trees is located at Napartok Bay, 1 30 km north 
of Nain (Figure 1 ; Elliott and Short 1 979). 

Paralleling this environmental contrast is a cultur- 
al juxtaposition. Broadly speaking, during the post- 
contact period, Inuit people have been associated pri- 
marily with the coastal tundra zone, although they 
have used the interior seasonally. Innu ("Naskapi") peo- 
ple have focused their land use on the subarctic interi- 
or and the inner bays and islands of the coastal zone. 
The shifting relationship between these ecological and 
cultural boundaries is a central theme in Labrador 
archaeology. 

This chapter begins with a geographical overview 
of the Nain region, then moves on to outline its 
bedrock and Quaternary geology. After a brief synop- 
sis of paleoenvironmental changes evident in pollen 
core data, a summary of historic land-use in the Nain 
region is presented. This is followed by more specific 
descriptions of two areas; Nukasusutok Island and 
Webb Bay/Port Manvers Run. 



OVERVIEW OF THE NAIN REGION 

The town of Nain is presently the northernmost perma- 
nent community in Labrador. The surrounding coastal 
region (Figure 3) is an archipelago of over two hundred 
islands that range in size from the smallest of skerries 
to the massive bulk of 140 km long South Aulatsivik 
Island. The higher elevations on these islands mostly 
range from 250-500 m, although Mt. Thoresby at the 
north end of South Aulatsivik Island rises to ca. 900 m. 
Passages between the islands vary from wide expans- 
es of deep water to narrow, shoal, tidal "rattles." The 
region can be categorized into three major ecological 
zones: outer islands, inner islands and bays, and the 
interior plateau. The outer island fringe is composed 
of numerous windswept islands with predominantly 
tundra vegetation. The inner island belt consists of 
several large and numerous small islands which bear 
scrub birch and willow vegetation and stands of black 
spruce in sheltered areas. The spruce-forested inner 
bays cut into the edge of the interior plateau and sev- 
eral river valleys extend inland from the bays, provid- 
ing transportation routes into the interior. The most 
important of these are the Fraser River, west of Nain, 
and the Kogaluk River {Emish-shipu is the Innu 
toponym) to the southwest of Nain in the Voisey's Bay 
region. Most of the interior plateau ranges in elevation 
from 250-350 m and has a predominantly tundra veg- 
etation. The Kiglapait Mountains constitute a border 
with the Okak region to the north; these peaks range 
over 800 m. 



ENVIRONMNENT 



13 




|?i..-1995 Canadian Space Agency 
1996 Agence spatiale canadienne' 



4/ RADARSAT synthetic aperture radar satellite photo of the Main district. Taken 
March 20, 1 996. Open water areas in black; gray line marks the edge of the 
landfast ice (sina): white arrow indicates Nukasusutok Island. Photo supplied by the 
Canadian Ice Service, © Canadian Space Agency 



Climatically, the north coast of Labrador is affect- 
ed by both continental and maritime air masses. During 
the summer westerly winds may bring warm dry weath- 
er from the interior; during the winter they are usually 
the purveyors of cold and predominantly clear condi- 
tions. Easterly winds bring cold weather in summer, rel- 
atively warm conditions in winter and carry most of the 
precipitation in both seasons (Tanner 1 944:302-308). 
The January temperature at Hopedale (the closest long- 
term meteorological station to Nain) averages -16.4 C 
and the August average is 10.6 C. Total precipitation 
amounts to 822 mm annually and the average winter 
snowfall is 445 cm (Environment Canada 2002). 



Tanner (1944:289) des- 
cribed summers on the 
Labrador coast as "character- 
ized by exceedingly unstable 
weather" because of the con- 
stant shift between warm conti- 
nental and cold maritime condi- 
tions. Although this was certain- 
ly the case during the 1979 
fieldwork, during the 1990s 
there have been extended peri- 
ods of warm dry conditions. 
Late in August and into 
September northeasterly gales 
occur frequently. Snow may 
begin to fall in mid-September. 

One of the most important 
environmental factors for 
humans along the Labrador 
coast is ice distribution. There 
are two different types of ice: 
pack ice and landfast ice. Pack 
ice drifts southward along the 
Labrador Current. The position 
of the pack ice is dependent on 
wind conditions; westerlies dis- 
perse the ice, pushing it out to 
sea, but easterlies push it 
against the coastline and the landfast ice. Pack ice gen- 
erally disappears by early to mid-July, although with 
consistent onshore winds it can persist into August. 
Besides being a navigational hazard, pack ice is impor- 
tant because seals, walrus and polar bears usually fol- 
low its movements. 

Landfast ice is attached to the landmass of the 
bays and islands and extends seaward after freeze-up. 
In Nain the average freeze-up occurs by December 10, 
while an early freeze-up could occur in late November. 
Ice that is safe for human travel by dog sled or snow- 
mobile may extend 40 to 50 km east from Nain, 
depending on the presence of islands which facilitate 



14 



CHAPTER 2 



anchoring. At the outer edge of the landfast ice there 
may be open water, known as the sina, in which sea 
mammals may be hunted from the ice edge or with 
kayaks. Frequently, however, the pack ice may drift up 
against the landfast ice and eliminate these open water 
areas. The position of the sina varies annually and 
monthly; Figure 4 is a RADARSAT synthetic aperture 
radar satellite photo that shows the contact zone 
between the landfast and pack ice on March 20, 1996. 
Strong currents in tidal "rattles" maintain polynyas, 
open areas within the landfast ice. In the Main area 
such regular open water areas can be found near the 
eastern ends of Strathcona and Harmony Runs, the 
"Second Rattle" on Port Manvers Run, near Tabor Island 
and the narrows at Tikkoatokak Bay. More variable 
openings occur in other areas. The satellite photo 
shows that the area between Nukasusutok Island, 
Humby's Island and Iglosiatik Island had relatively thin 
Ice in March. The ice in this area tends to thin out 
quickly in the spring sun and develop early openings 
because of ocean swells. Break-up of the landfast ice 
generally occurs in mid-June, but pack ice can block 
navigation well after this date. In both 1 992 and 1 993 
it was almost August before the first coastal freight 
boat could make its way up the coast to Nain. 

Bedrock Geology of the Nain Region 

The earliest rocks of the northern Labrador coast are 
the gneisses of the Archean Nain Province (> 2.5 Ca). 
In the Nain region, these outcrop primarily in a band 
between Okak and Webb Bay. Otherwise, most of the 
rocks that make up the Nain archipelago are part of 
the Middle Proterozoic Nain Plutonic Suite (1 .6-1 .0 Ca), 
which consists mostly of anorthosite, troctolite, diorite 
and granite (Ryan 1990; Ryan et al. 1995). This 
bedrock geology does not provide a great deal of raw 
material that would be sought after by stone knappers. 
Vein quartz is abundant throughout the region and 
was used frequently in the Early-Middle periods of the 
Maritime Archaic. A particularly large quartz vein 
occurs on one of the Red Islands, east of Paul Island. A 



prehistorically quarried quartz crystal outcrop, possi- 
bly used by Pre-Dorset, is located on "No Name Island" 
just east of Nukasusutok Island (Fitzhugh 1 981 :30). 

Aside from those mentioned above, virtually all 
the lithic materials required for prehistoric technology 
had to be acquired from outside the Nain region. 
Ramah chert, used extensively by the Maritime 
Archaic, Dorset and Pre-lnnu peoples, is derived from 
the Ramah Croup, which outcrops between Ramah Bay 
and Nachvak Fiord, ca. 300 km north of Nain (Cramly 
1978; Lazenby 1980). Mugford chert, used extensively 
by Pre-Dorset, but also by Early/Middle Maritime 
Archaic and Intermediate Indian peoples, is found in 
the Mugford Croup, 1 50 km north of Nain between 
Okak and Napartok Bay (Cramly 1978; Lazenby 1980). 
Slates were used for ground tools by the Maritime 
Archaic, the Thule/lnuit and occasionally by Dorset 
peoples. Specific slate sources have not been identi- 
fied, but it is likely that many slates were derived from 
the Mugford Croup. 

Soapstone sources in central and northern 
Labrador have been documented from an archaeologi- 
cal perspective by Nagle (1 984) and from an economic 
geology perspective by Meyer and Montague (1993, 
1994, 1995). No soapstone sources are currently 
known in the Nain area. The place name Soapstone 
Tickle, between the Red Islands, hints at a possible 
source, but the location is not known to local carvers. 
Otherwise, the nearest sources of soapstone are either 
100 km north of Nain in the Okak region or 80 km to 
the south at Freestone Harbour near Utshimassits 
(Davis Inlet). 

Paleoenvironmental Change 

The post-glacial marine emergence chronology of the 
Nain area is based largely on radiocarbon dated 
archaeological sites on raised beaches (Fitzhugh 1977, 
Clark and Fitzhugh 1990, 1992). The oldest radiocar- 
bon date in the area is 7800±130 B.P. (reservoir cor- 
rected 7760±65 B.P.) on a geological sample of marine 
shells from 36 m on South Aulatsivik Island (Johnson 



ENVIRONMNENT 



15 



1 985:75; Clark and Fitzhugh 1990:301). The earliest 
archaeological radiocarbon date is 7065±70 B.P. from 
the Early Maritime Archaic Ballybrack-1 site, located 
at 41 m on South Aulatsivik Island (Fitzhugh 1978:85; 
Clark and Fitzhugh 1990:301). When these dates and 
elevations are linked with later dates from archaeolog- 
ical sites as well as a marine limit determination of 
71 m, the estimated uplift curve suggests a date of ca. 
8500 B.P. for the marine limit and the deglaciation of 
the outer coast of the Nain archipelago (Clark and 
Fitzhugh 1990:302). 

There have been suggestions that uplift rates dif- 
fer between the outer coast and the inner bays. 
According to Clark and Fitzhugh (1992:200) for 
Hamilton Inlet and Johnson (1 985:74) for the Torngat 
Mountain region, the inner bay marine limit is younger 
and lower. In the Nain area, Johnson (1969:1 10) iden- 
tified the marine limit at Webb Bay as lying at 41 m, 
substantially lower than the 71 m determined ca. 22 
km to the east on South Aulatsivik Island. More recent 
investigations along Reid Brook between inner Voisey's 
Bay and inner Anaktalak Bay— south and 1 5 km west 
of Johnson's research area— place the marine limit at 
93±2 m and provide a radiocarbon date of 7580±70 
B.P. (7485±45 B.P., reservoir corrected) for marine 
shell at 50 m (Bell 1997). Johnson's marine limit must 
therefore be incorrect and the proposed differences in 
outer/inner coast uplift regimes are contradicted by 
the new data from Voisey's Bay. 

Figure 5 depicts the relative sea level curve pre- 
sented by Clark and Fitzhugh (1990) together with 
Bell's (1 997) suggested curve for Voisey's Bay. The lat- 
ter should be treated with caution since it is a simple 
exponential projection based on the local marine limit, 
the single radiocarbon date and undated marine ter- 
race elevations. Nonetheless, the Voisey's Bay curve 
suggests greater uplift in the inland area, which would 
be expected from an ice sheet that was thicker inland 
and thinning towards the coast. The archaeological 



100 




01 23456789 10 



BP (1000) 

5/ Relative sea level curves for Nain and inner Voisey's Bay 
(after Clark and Fitzhugh 1990 and Bell 1997). Sites 
marked: Nukasusutok-5, Area 2 (N5A2), Nukasusutok-5, 
Area 3 (N5A3). Attu's Bight (AB), Attu's Point (AP) and 
Nukasusutok 12 (N12). 

Study area at Webb Bay probably lies somewhere 
between these uplift profiles. Some of the archaeolog- 
ical sites discussed in the text are marked on the dia- 
gram; their positioning will be discussed later. 

During the 1970s, interest in the relationship 
between climate change and culture change (e.g., 
Fitzhugh 1972, 1977a) was pursued through the col- 
lection of pollen data from several locations in north- 
ern and central Labrador. As part of this program, one 
core was taken from Nain Pond (Short 1978), but it 
proved problematic because of reversed datings in the 
stratigraphic sequence. Similarities with cores taken in 
the Okak area, however, permitted reasonable extrap- 
olations. Cores were also taken in 1939 by Wenner 
(1947), but these are of limited utility since they pre- 
date the use of radiocarbon dating. Generally, the 
pollen data indicate the area was deglaciated by 
10,500 B.P. and that by 9000 B.P. the ice front stood 



cf. Tanner's (1 944:245) determination of the marine limit at 83 m on Sandy Island, 20 km east of South Aulatsivik Island. 



16 



CHAPTER 2 



on the interior plateau, at least 1 00 km from the coast. 
The post-glacial period was marked by tundra vegeta- 
tion until a transition to shrub tundra with a strong 
birch and alder component ca. 6700-6500 B.P.. After 
4500 B.P., an open spruce woodland was present. 
Climatic cooling is indicated after 3500 B.P. (Short 
1978:32). 

Initial efforts at dendrochronology in the Nain 
area began in the early 1970s, but the information 
only extended back to 1 769 (H.E. Wright, International 
Dendrochronologicai Data Base, National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration [NOAA] 2003). Additional 
data are currently being collected, but the work is still 
at a preliminary stage. The other source of climate- 
related information is the oxygen isotope data from 
the Greenland ice cores. These data provide much 
higher chronological resolution than the pollen cores, 
but their high frequency variations can be difficult to 
interpret and attempts to correlate them with coarsely 
dated archaeological entities are problematic. In 
Chapter 14, ice core and pollen data are combined to 
discuss environmental changes relevant to under- 
standing shifts in Maritime Archaic settlement and the 
social boundary problems subsequent to Pre-Dorset 
colonization. 

Recent Seasonal Resource Use in the Nain 
Region 

Brice-Bennett (1977) outlines the seasonal varia- 
tions in Nain region fauna and the concomitant pat- 
terning of human activities during the 20^'^ century. 
The following discussion is based on her account as 
well as Taylor (1974), with supplemental information 
derived from local informants and personal observa- 
tion. The coastal resources are discussed first, fol- 
lowed by inner bay/interior species. 

In early spring Canada geese and various migrato- 
ry duck species return north and are hunted in early to 
mid-May. Later in the spring and the early summer, 
eggs are collected from duck and gull nesting areas. 
After break-up in mid-June, the migratory harp seal 



moves north from its whelpmg grounds off 
Newfoundland following schools of capelin. Large 
numbers can be netted or shot as they enter the bays 
traveling in herds. Although most of the harps summer 
off west Greenland they can occasionally be found in 
Labrador waters during the summer. The ringed seal is 
present year round in the Nain area, although ecologi- 
cal studies by Boles et al. (1980:54) suggest that dur- 
ing the summer some may migrate from the central 
coast to locations north of Okak. Harbor and grey seals 
haul out on seaward islands in the spring and break-up 
is said to be a good time for hunting bearded seals. 
During the open water season seals are most frequent- 
ly encountered in the outer island areas, but many 
move up the bays with high tide. 

Fishing was the major summer activity in the Nain 
area until the recent downturn in fish stocks. Arctic 
char begin their seaward runs from the rivers in early 
June and spend the summer among the islands until 
mid-August, when they return upriver to spawn. 
Salmon are fished in late July and August and cod in 
August and September. Minke and white whales are 
seen occasionally. Bowhead whales once frequented 
the Labrador coast, although they were rarely hunted 
by 18'^'^ century Inuit in the Nain area, possibly 
because poor bathymetric conditions reduced the like- 
lihood of their entering the bays (Taylor 1 988: 1 25). 

In the fall, Canada geese are pursued beginning 
the last week of August. Their main southward move- 
ment occurs in mid-September and few remain after 
October 25. Ducks and various sea birds are also 
exploited. In September, ringed, young bearded, grey 
and harbour seals move into the bays to feed. Brice- 
Bennett (1977:144) notes that the beginning of the 
harp seal southern migration varies from late 
September or October to late November or December. 
The later the commencement of the migration the 
more likely it is that the harps will stay seaward to 
avoid the already frozen coastal areas. Late and 
early 1 9'^'^ century Inuit settlements tended to be locat- 
ed in good locations for fall harp sealing (Taylor 



ENVIRONMNENT 



17 



1974:51) and numerous references in the Moravian 
Periodical Accounts make clear the importance of the 
fall seal hunt for storing up supplies for the winter. 

When ice formation begins in the bays, most of 
the seals that had previously been feeding there shift 
seaward. Those that are trapped in the bays after 
freeze-up are hunted basking on the ice, through their 
breathing holes or in patches of open water. During 
the winter, ringed seals are found in open water at the 
sina and at breathing holes. March is the worst month 
for sealing because pack ice jams against the landfast 
ice and eliminates the leads of open water. Come 
April, ringed seals may be encountered basking on the 
ice beside their breathing holes or at the sima. 

Walrus are rare today in the Nain region, but they 
formerly appeared at the sina in February and March. 
Polar bears move south with the pack ice, inhabiting 
the sina and coastal headlands from March until May. 
If the pack ice lingers until later in the summer, both 
polar bears and walrus may be found occasionally near 
the outer islands, although the bears sometimes wan- 
der as far up the bays as Tikkoatokak. 

Caribou is the main resource exploited by humans 
in the inner bays and on the interior plateau. Although 
they may be hunted at any time of the year, their hides 
are best for clothing in September and October. Brice- 
Bennett (1 977:1 58-1 59) notes the winter core areas for 
interior caribou herds, the nearest concentrations to 
Nain being in the Kiglapait Mountains, near Kingurutik 
Lake and between Tasisuak Lake and Anaktalik Brook. 
The geographical range of caribou varies over time. 
Prior to the mid-1960s, caribou primarily frequented 
the interior plateau, requiring lengthy hunting trips 
inland (Brice-Bennett 1 977:1 55). For example, in 1 780 
Moravian missionary William Turner accompanied Inuit 
caribou hunters on two trips up the Fraser River valley 
and onto the plateau, up to 80 km inland from Nain 
(Taylor 1 969). At this time, prior to the Inuit accessing 
firearms, the Inuit brought kayaks inland on their late 
summer hunt (August-September) and travelled with 
dog sleds on a winter hunt (February). Meat might be 



cached for emergency use later in the winter. In more 
recent years, large caribou herds have moved out 
towards the coast, crossing over the sea ice to the 
outer islands. Most of these animals return inland 
before break-up, but some are trapped on the islands 
for the summer. Caribou are also encountered sporad- 
ically in the inner bays between spring and fall. 

Other animal species found in the interior or along 
the inner bays include: black bear, fox, wolf, arctic 
hare, wolverine, otter, mink, muskrat and lynx. Black 
bears, hare and fox can also be found on some of the 
larger coastal islands. During the winter, wolves may 
move over the sea ice to the islands in pursuit of cari- 
bou. The economically significant terrestrial birds are 
rock and spruce ptarmigan, which today are hunted in 
April/May when there is a heavy snow cover and it is 
still possible to travel over the sea ice. 

Nukasusutok Island 

Nukasusutok Island (NaKasetjutok in the current 
orthography) is located about 30 km southeast of 
Nain. According to Wheeler (1953:62-63), the island's 
Inuktitut name means "the place where the brothers 
quarreled." That name may be illuminated by ethnohis- 
toric information suggesting that during the 1 

gth 

cen- 
tury brothers rarely shared households because of 
conflicts over authority within multi-family communal 
houses (Taylor 1 974:82). 

The island (Figures 3, 16) is approximately 10 km 
in length (east-west). It is indented on the north and 
the south by two bays; the southern bay is commonly 
known as Wyatt Harbour. According to geologist E. P. 
Wheeler II (cited in Morse 1 971 :94), Commander A.B. 
N. Wyatt of the British Navy survey ship Challenger (see 
Wyatt 1 934) attested to the fine anchoring qualities of 
these embayments by maintaining— doubtless with a 
degree of exaggeration— that the entire British Navy 
could be accommodated here. Less expansive, Morse 
(1971:95) noted that Wyatt Harbour is among the 
finest on the coast of Labrador. These bays effectively 
divide the island at its mid-point into two somewhat 



18 



CHAPTER 2 



physiographically different portions. The western end 
of Nukasusutok is 3 km in width, contains the highest 
point on the island (298 m) and is generally rugged 
and mountainous. The eastern end is a thin northeast 
trending arm that ranges from 0.3 to 1 .3 km in width. 
This extremity is less rugged than the western tip of 
the island, has more flat low-lying areas, and eleva- 
tions do not exceed ca. 152 m. At both ends of the 
island most of the shoreline plunges precipitously 
down to the sea. 

Geologically, Nukasusutok Island is part of the 
Middle Proterozoic Nain Plutonic Suite and is underlain 
by gneiss, anorthosites, intrusive troctolites, diorites 
and monzonites (Davies 1974; Ryan 1990; Ryan et al. 
1995). A combination of faulting, intrusions and 
weathering has produced a topography of rounded 
hills punctuated in places by parallel-walled "passes." 
The only lithic material on the island that was of pos- 
sible utility to prehistoric peoples is vein quartz, which 
outcrops in several places on the island. 

The vegetation of Nukasusutok is primarily that of 
a tundra community with plant species such as lichen, 
willow, dwarf birch, alder, Labrador tea, crowberry, 
blueberry, cranberry, cloudberry and various grasses. 
Although the exposed eastern arm of the island is 
strictly a tundra environment, certain well sheltered 
areas on the western end maintain substantial groves 
of black spruce. Spruce trees at the head of Wyatt 
Harbour have attained heights in the neighborhood of 
3.0 to 4.5 m. 

The raison d'etre of any human occupation of 
Nukasusutok would be exploitation of the sea mam- 
mals, aquatic birds and fish found within the island's 
catchment area. Good spring sealing may be had to the 
southeast between Satok and Humby's Island. During 
the summer, seals are common in the "Bridges" pas- 
sage to the west, off the east side of Kikkertavak Island 
and among the small islands immediately to the east 
of Nukasusutok. Numerous aquatic birds may be had 
in the area during the open water season: black and 
eider ducks, teals, scoters, black guillemots, loons and 



gulls. The small islands to the east of Nukasusutok are 
a particularly good area for these waterfowl. Geese are 
seasonal visitors and may be encountered in the larg- 
er ponds on Nukasusutok. Ptarmigan also occur there. 
Arctic char, tom cod and occasionally salmon may be 
caught in the waters surrounding Nukasusutok. Minke 
whales sometimes move into Wyatt Harbour to feed. 

In contrast to the diverse and abundant marine 
fauna, Nukasusutok exhibits a paucity of terrestrial 
game. The arctic hare is a resident of the barren hills 
and several Inuit stone traps testify to the presence of 
fox. Caribou are known to frequent the island on rare 
occasions (such as 5-6 animals in 1992), crossing over 
the sea ice during the winter and becoming stranded 
after break-up. Several black bears were resident at the 
western end of the island in 1992. 

Webb Bay/Port Manvers Run 

Webb Bay is located 2 5 km north of the town of Nain 
(Figures 3 and 1 59). It is named after the settler fami- 
ly Webb, that maintains cabins at the head of the bay, 
but it is also known by the Inuktitut name Udjuktok, 
place of bearded seals (Wheeler 1953:94-95). 
Extending 1 5 km east-west by 3-7 km wide, Webb Bay 
is separated from the outer coast by South Aulatsivik 
Island, the largest island in the Nain archipelago. 
Access by boat is either from the south through the 
"First Rattle" at the tip of the Itilialuk Peninsula, or from 
the north via Port Manvers Run. The latter is a fjord-like 
passage that swings around the western side of South 
Aulatsivik and enters the sea at Thalia Point 
(Tikigdtsuk). The Run is significant as a transportation 
route because it constitutes an "inner passage" that 
can be used by boat travelers to avoid the exposed 
outer coast to the east of South Aulatsivik Island. 
During the winter, hunters can travel northwards to 
Okak by snowmobile or dogsled, either by going to the 
head of Webb Bay and following the Webb Brook Valley 
into Tasiuyak Bay, or by moving north up Port Manvers 
Run and then crossing the plateau behind the Kiglapait 
Mountains and thence down into Tasiuyak. 



ENVIRONMNENT 



19 



As far as game resources are concerned, Webb Bay 
is considered to be a "core area" for hunting ringed 
seals (Brice-Bennett 1 977:1 25), particularly in the 
spring. During the summer seals tend to be scarce, but 
ringed and harbor seals may be shot occasionally, par- 
ticularly off the point at the southern entrance to Port 
Manvers Run. The most important location for sealing 
along Port Manvers Run is the "Second Rattle," a nar- 
rowing of the Run which has such a strong tidal current 
that it remains an ice free polynya throughout the win- 
ter. This is also a "core area" for harbor seals (Brice- 
Bennett 1977:125). The narrow "tickle" between Igloo 
Island and the north shore of Webb Bay sometimes 
does not freeze over until February, providing extend- 
ed open water sealing possibilities, and it may be a 
good sealing location in spring and fall. 

The aforementioned winter travel routes can be 
used to access either the Kiglapait Mountain caribou 
herd to the north, or the Kinguritik herd to the west. 
Caribou may frequent the Webb Bay/Port Manvers area 
throughout the year, although they can be hard to find 
during the summer when they tend to be up the stream 
valleys and at relatively high elevations. In mid-April 
1994 a small caribou herd was present in the interior 
valleys of South Aulatsivik Island. In late April tracks 
indicated a recent westward movement of this herd 
across Port Manvers Run and back towards the interior, 
presumably a shift towards spring calving areas. 

Black bears are also very common in the region, 
inhabiting forested areas near streams and wandering 
up to fairly high elevations on the mountains. Polar 
bears move through Port Manvers Run during the win- 
ter and may be found there occasionally in the sum- 
mer, especially in the northern portion from the 
Second Rattle to Thalia Point. Wolves and arctic hare 
also occur in the area, as well as porcupine and otter. 

Webb Bay Is a good location for wildfowl in the 
spring and fall, particularly geese and ducks (black and 
harlequin). Webb Brook at the head of the bay is an 
important salmon and char spawning stream (Brice- 
Bennett 1 977:133), but summer fishing can be variable 



In the bay. In 1992-94 the summer fishing was poor, 
while in early summer 2002 there was good char fish- 
ing near the southern entrance to Port Manvers Run. 

The bedrock at the western end of Webb Bay is 
Archean gneiss, while most of the remainder of the 
Webb Bay/Port Manvers Run area consists of 
anorthosites of the Middle Proterozolc Main Plutonic 
Suite. At the north end of the Run, extending north 
towards Okak, is the Kiglapait layered intrusion, a gab- 
broic body also dating to the Middle Proterozolc (Ryan 
1 990; Ryan et al. 1 995). The only rock type of use to 
prehistoric peoples would have been vein quartz, 
which outcrops sporadically throughout the area. 

Scattered observations concerning the glacial 
geology of the Webb Bay/Port Manvers Run region 
were made by Vaino Tanner (1 944) and his associates, 
but the only detailed study is that of Peter Johnson 
(1969). Johnson studied the extensive glacio-fluvial 
and glaclo-marlne sand and gravel terraces on the 
north side of Webb Bay and Identified six phases in 
their formation. Early phases Involved the wasting of 
Ice into separate units centered on Webb Bay and 
Attu's Brook, then the development of a series of ice- 
dammed lakes and kame terraces at progressively 
lower elevations with runoff towards the east. A large 
marginal lake then formed from ice meltwater and 
runoff from the deglaciated highlands, contributing to 
subglaclal drainage down Port Manvers Run. According 
to Johnson, the Ice then withdrew sufficiently such that 
the eustatically rising sea cut a terrace at 41 m, which 
he considered to be the local marine limit. As noted 
previously, however, more recent data from Voisey's 
Bay (Bell 1997) suggest Johnson's 41 m marine limit Is 
incorrect. If we situate Webb Bay between the Voisey's 
Bay and Nain uplift curves shown in Figure 5, then a 
terrace cut at 40 m would date ca. 7000 B.P. 



20 



CHAPTER 2 



Scenes from a bygone era: trapboats in Nam Harbour, 1978. (Photo: B. Hood) 



ENVIRONMNENT 



"Wet-Site excavation," Nukasusutok-5, Area 2C, 1980, with Doug Sutton and Morten Meldgaard (right). (Photo: B. Hood) 



CHAPTER 3 



eorij and Method 
in the Analtjsis of Social Space 



One of the central themes of this text is the analysis of 
social space. In this chapter the theme is addressed at 
the scale of site structure and individual features. First 
up is a general discussion of the status of spatial analy- 
sis in archaeology, which focuses on some of the main 
trends relevant to the set of problems outlined here. 
Current interpretations of Maritime Archaic social rela- 
tions and dwelling space are then outlined and their 
explicit or implicit theoretical and methodological 
approaches are assessed. Given these considerations, 
a methodological strategy for the analysis of Maritime 
Archaic dwelling spaces is presented. A similar treat- 
ment of Paleoeskimo material follows. 

Spatial Analysis in Archaeology 

Spatial analysis of archaeological sites became an 
important theme in the late 1 960s as part of the New 
Archaeology's program of finding appropriate meth- 
ods for addressing conceptual problems. Much of the 
initial impetus was related to studies of functional vari- 
ation within and between sites, which involved identi- 
fying functionally distinct tool kits. Simple quantitative 
techniques based on grid counts and point data were 
borrowed from geography and ecology, such as near- 
est neighbor analysis and tool type correlation studies 
(e.g., Hodder and Orton 1976). It became evident, 
however, that archaeological data were not a direct 
reflection of behavior and that the attempt to identify 
tool kits through correlation studies was problematic 
(Speth and Johnson 1976). Recognizing the complex 



relationship between what Schiffer (1972) termed the 
archaeological and systemic contexts, attention turned 
to documenting the formation processes of the archae- 
ological record. Much of this involved ethnoarchaeo- 
logical studies of site structure (e.g., Yellen 1977; 
Binford 1 978, 1 983), which sought to identify "transla- 
tion rules" for inferring systemic context from archae- 
ological context. At the same time, a more varied 
range of quantitative methods was developed for rec- 
ognizing patterns in complex spatial data, such as k- 
means cluster analysis, unconstrained clustering, cor- 
respondence analysis etc. (e.g., Blankholm 1991; Carr 
1984; Hietala 1984; Kintigh and Ammerman 1982). 
Subsequent work investigated site structure in terms 
of formation history, considering specific problems 
such as the effects of site maintenance behavior on 
patterning (Binford 1983, 1987; O'Connell 1987). As 
noted by Wandsnider (1 996), monitoring such process- 
es may require dropping traditional analytical entities 
such as artifact types in favor of novel units of analy- 
sis that are more relevant to formation processes, such 
as size-sorting indices employed as indicators of site 
maintenance behavior (Wandsnider 1996:353-359), or 
refitting studies used to reveal the micro-behaviorial 
level of site structure (Cziesia 1 989, 1 990). 

Whatever the methodological sophistication of 
spatial analysis, the central problem is the inferential 
process of connecting the observable archaeological 
context with the unobservable past cultural system. 
Ethnoarchaeological studies have been crucial for 



THEORY AND METHOD IN THE ANALYSIS OF SOCIAL SPACE 



23 




"Me.n'6" Out^side:- He/\r.th Model- 

1 O 1 2 3-45 

6/ Binford's external/internal hearth models. (6a) external 
hearth model (from Binford 1 983: 1 53). 




6b/ internal hearth model. Palanga's house (from Binford 

1983:177). Reproduced by permission. 

understanding the relationship between archaeological 
traces of behavior and the organizational variables 
generating those traces (Binford 1987). The most fre- 
quently cited ethnoarchaeological work on hunter- 
gatherer site structure is that of Binford (1978a, b, 
1983, 1987). From the late 1970s through the 1980s 
Binford focused on human body mechanics as a univer- 



sal constraint that would produce consistent spatial 
patterns. The most well known example is the so- 
called "hearth-centered" model (Binford 1978b, 1983). 
According to Binford, the positioning of individuals 
around an outdoor hearth results in a characteristic 
pattern of a "drop zone" containing small items in the 
vicinity of the hearth and the seated individuals and a 
"toss zone" in front of the hearth and behind the 
hearth-users, where larger items are discarded (Figure 
6a). Hearths inside dwelling structures do not exhibit 
this pattern since they are subjected to regular mainte- 
nance procedures of gathering debris and dumping it 
outside the dwelling (Figure 6b). The methods used for 
developing and presenting these models were largely 
qualitative and visual, with the goal of defining gener- 
al spatial patterns that could be regarded as behavioral 
configurations. Nonetheless, Binford (1981:286) 
emphasized that spatial data should be collected at as 
detailed a level as possible, since we do not yet know 
enough about spatial structures to justify coarser- 
grained recording. 

Binford used the hearth-centered model to provide 
an alternative interpretation of the French Paleolithic 
site Pincevent. According to Binford (1983:147-148), 
Leroi-Courhan and Brezillion (1972) imposed certain 
unevaluated assumptions when they concluded that 
the spatial patterning of debris associated with hearths 
indicated the presence of several tent structures. 
Instead, Binford (1 983:158-159) suggested the pat- 
terns derived from a rotation of seating positions 
around outdoor hearths. Debate continues as to how 
the spatial organization of Pincevent and other Upper 
Paleolithic sites should be interpreted (e.g., Audouze 
1 987; Carr 1 991 ; Enloe et al. 1 994; Julien et al. 1 987; 
Koetje 1987, 1994; Simek 1984). Meanwhile, some 
researchers attempted to develop methodological 
tools for the analysis of hearth-centered distributions 
(Stapert 1989), while others discussed additional site 
formation considerations that complicate Binford's 
hearth-centered model (e.g., O'Connell 1987; 
Stevenson 1991). 



24 



CHAPTER 3 



One of the problems with Binford's studies is that 
they mostly attribute spatial patterning in sites to "etic" 
behavioral factors such as body mechanics or practical 
"maintenance" strategies that determine disposal deci- 
sions. Although processualists eventually paid more 
attention to social factors such as the role of sharing, 
kinship and cooperative labor in the spacing of 
dw/ellings (e.g., Binford 1991; Cargett and Hayden 
1 991 ; Whitelaw 1 991 , 1 994), there was no concern for 
the symbolic dimension of site structure. Symbolic 
meaning was taken up in Hodder's (1982, 1987) eth- 
noarchaeological research in east Africa, which 
explored the structuring effect of social relations, such 
as gender, and the symbolic aspects of discard related 
to concepts of dirt and purity (see D. Gordon [1980] 
for an earlier eastern subarctic example). In subse- 
quent post-processual studies, dwelling structures 
were seen as both the medium and outcome of social 
structuration processes, simultaneously channeling 
the physical movements of individuals and serving as 
symbolic metaphors encoding aspects of ideology 
(e.g., Hodder 1990:44-70; Parker-Pearson and 
Richards 1994; Yates 1989). Recent research takes a 
phenomenological rather than structuralist approach 
to constructed space, theorizing how "the body" sub- 
jectively experiences movement through dwellings and 
other aspects of the inhabited environment (Tilley 
1994, 1999:40-49). 

The upshot of this discussion is that there are two 
main methodological approaches to spatial analysis 
(although these are not mutually exclusive). The first 
approach is model-centered (Carr 1991). This general- 
ly involves linking the observed archaeological context 
with an ethnoarchaeological model that provides 
insight into the unobserved past behavioral context. 
The model employed could be either an "etic" behav- 
ioral model or an "emic" socio-ideological model. The 
question of evaluating a model's correspondence with 
the spatial data is a central problem. There is a con- 
stant danger that model-centered approaches will 
assume what they set out to prove, and that fitting the 



model to the data will result in an uncritical accommo- 
dation argument (Binford 1981:284-285) in which the 
model becomes an unevaluated interpretative conven- 
tion or a rhetorical device used to construct a past-as- 
wished for. From the neo-positivist perspective, 
although data are recognized as constructed through a 
theoretical lens it is believed that independent middle- 
range methods can be applied to provide a measure of 
goodness of fit (Bmford 1981:21-30, 1982). The 
hermeneutic perspective, on the other hand, sees 
method as inseparable from theory, such that evaluat- 
ing goodness of fit is a negotiation process marked by 
fluidity and a lack of firm foundations for determining 
the plausibility of arguments. While data can in some 
sense "confront" theory, emphasis is placed on 
enhancing interpretive coherence and reducing incon- 
sistencies (Hodder 1999:39, 60-62). Nonetheless, 
there seems to be agreement that some kinds of 
methodological strategies are necessary to provide 
challenges to interpretative models and to prevent 
arguments from becoming self-serving tautologies. 
These strategies may involve contrasting arguments 
developed from different paradigmatic positions, 
applying different types of methods (quantitative and 
qualitative) with different assumptions to the same 
data set, and considering several different types of 
contextual information and different scales of analysis 
(e.g., Binford 1987:503; Blankholm 1991; Carr 1991; 
Hodder 1999:130-131). In this process, quantitative 
analysis can be used as a pattern recognition exercise 
aimed at exposing possible anomalies between models 
and data, a tool for resisting premature accommoda- 
tions. Such flexible methodological strategies might be 
considered part of a critical realist epistemology (Sayer 
1 992, 2000). 

The other approach to spatial analysis can be 
termed empirical pattern recognition. Instead of tak- 
ing its point of departure in a conceptual model, this 
approach uses exploratory quantitative methods to 
identify statistically meaningful associations in spatial 
data. These patterns may then be interpreted post hoc 



THEORY AND METHOD IN THE ANALYSIS OF SOCIAL SPACE 



25 



wood 
cutting 

conical I I ri . 



scaffold 



slioreline 



tent 1 



Recent Innu spring 
camp, Labrador 



(a) 



A duck wings 
hung on tree 



tent 2 



square scaffold 

lil and hearth 



hearth 




Recent Innu 
summer tent 

B stove 

debris concentration 
1 m scale 



(b) 



7/ Recent Innu camp structure, (a) Innu spring camp, Labrador, (b) schematic diagram of a recent Innu summer tent fea- 
ture, Labrador. 



in relation to a model. The assumption is that statisti- 
cal techniques can provide results that are independ- 
ent of model premises, such that unanticipated pat- 
terns might be recognized (Carr 1 991 :226). While this 
property has some virtue, the important objection is 
that no statistical tool provides guidelines as to how 
the resulting patterns should be interpreted in terms 
of behavior. So, while a technique may provide a 
means of revealing patterning that is inherent in the 
data itself rather than an artifact of model conventions, 
the interpretations of the patterning are ultimately 
model dependent. There is also the danger that the 
elegance of a technique, such as the popular /c-means 
cluster analysis (Kintigh and Ammerman 1982; Simek 
1984), may promote its use as a cookbook solution. 

This general discussion has implications for the 
methodology used in the spatial analysis of habitation 
areas undertaken in this text. The methodological 
strategy employed here involves the recursive use of 
models and empirical pattern recognition studies. 
Theory is used to frame models of Maritime Archaic 
and Paleoeskimo dwelling space, while the methods 
serve two roles: (1) evaluating the goodness of fit 
between models and data— their degree of accommo- 
dation or "coherence," and (2) as exploratory tools for 
partitioning complex data sets so as to expose unan- 
ticipated aspects of variation— anomalies between 



models and data that could require re-evaluation of the 
model assumptions. Methodological discussions for 
the Maritime Archaic and Paleoeskimo cases are pre- 
sented separately, since each cultural context presents 
its own specific problems of analysis. 

The Maritime Archaic: Longhouse Models and 
Spatial Muddles 

During the 1970s, excavations at Maritime Archaic 
habitation sites in central and northern Labrador failed 
to identify distinct traces of dwelling structures. 
Hearths were sometimes arranged in a linear fashion 
along raised beach terraces (e.g.. Rattlers Bight and 
Black Island Cove, Fitzhugh 1975, 1978a; Okak-2, Cox 
1 977), but these and other features (Hood 1 981 ) were 
generally interpreted as the remains of individual fam- 
ily tent structures. Although the Maritime Archaic 
seemed "different" from the historically known Innu, 
the viewing lense for perceiving and interpreting these 
spatial patterns was traditional subarctic ethnography. 
This ethnographic model generated assumptions of 
nuclear family organizational units with modest tent 
structures as dwellings. For example, modern Innu 
spring-summer camps leave remains such as those 
sketched in Figure 7. Individual tents may be spaced at 
varying distances, dependent on both terrain and 
social relationships, and may be associated with exter- 



26 



CHAPTER 3 



8/ Innu summer tent site, 1980. Small stakes mark stove location, door immediately to the right. Exterior midden between 
tent site and scaffold. Photo: W. Fitzhugh. 



nal features such as hearths, wooden scaffolds, skin- 
stretching frames, wood chopping areas and the sym- 
bolic placement of animal bones in adjacent trees. 
Dwelling remains may consist of small, single family 
tent floors with a central stove, along with trash distri- 
butions centered on the doorway and exterior area 
immediately outside the tent (Figures 7 and 8). Larger 
tents are also used, however. 

During the 1978 season of the Smithsonian 
Institution's Torngat Archaeological Project, probable 
Maritime Archaic rectangular structures were noted 
briefly at Aillik, near Makkovik on the central coast, 
while several linear structures up to 100 m long and 
associated with Late Maritime Archaic artifacts were 
identified at Nulliak Cove, north of Hebron Fjord 
(Fitzhugh 1980). The break-through came in 1980, 
when Smithsonian investigations at Aillik revealed the 
clearly defined remains of a "longhouse" embedded in 
a cobble beach. The feature measured in at 28 m long, 
4 m wide, and was segmented into seven compart- 



ments with raised rock dividers. It was associated with 
several external conical cache pits (Figures 9 and 10). 
The longhouse was actually the latest in a sequence of 
structures that began on a higher and earlier raised 
beach. There appeared to be an "evolutionary" devel- 
opment over time from small, single-family pit-houses 
and rectangular structures towards progressively larg- 
er segmented rectangular structures, culminating in 
the longhouse. (Fitzhugh 2006). 

This remarkably clear longhouse and the 
sequence of earlier structures became a paradigm or 
interpretative model that could be used to make sense 
of the previously excavated hearth rows, the linear fea- 
tures at Nulliak Cove and other ambiguous spatial dis- 
tributions. The "longhouse model" revolutionized 
Maritime Archaic archaeology, revealing how the 
ethnographically derived expectations had hindered 
recognition of the pattern. The model made visible 
what was previously hidden and helped make sense 
out of spatial muddles. We cannot do without it. 



THEORY AND METHOD IN THE ANALYSIS OF SOCIAL SPACE 



27 



0°0q 
O (3 



% ° °oo« Ooo" / 

CACHE PITS o \ 

TROUGH °° °Oo 



"o"" O ^? =00 o° =^ ^ o °° 

oOoO 



METERS ° °°l AILLIK-2 °°oo° 



9/ Maritime Archaic longlnouse, Aillik-2 (after Fitzhugh 1984 33). 



Nonetheless, the model also poses certain dangers 
when applied as a handy template to data that are con- 
siderably more ambiguous than the "classic" feature at 
Aillik. At the descriptive or pattern recognition level, 
accurate delineation of dwelling size and configuration 
could be compromised by naive application of the 
longhouse template. There may be a temptation to 
interpret any linear distribution as a longhouse, partic- 
ularly distributions encountered on surveys and not 
subjected to substantive analysis. Such pattern recog- 
nition errors snowball on the inferential level when cor- 
relations of structure size and social composition are 
based on faulty description. Consequently, we have the 
ingredients for potentially deceptive accommodation 
arguments in which the longhouse model becomes a 
taken-for-granted interpretative convention. So, when 
dealing with ambiguous spatial data we have to bal- 
ance carefully between using the longhouse model as 
a necessary guide to pattern recognition and employ- 
ing methodological strategies to prevent unjustified 
reproduction of the model and to expose unanticipat- 
ed patterning. 

The Functional and Social Dimensions of 
Maritime Archaic Dwellings 

There appear to be at least three different forms of 
Maritime Archaic dwellings: (1) small pit-houses of ca. 



3.0-3.5 m in diameter (either circular or oval double- 
room features, Fitzhugh 2006), (2) rectangular surface 
structures, and (3) "longhouses." The latter may be 
either surface structures or slightly excavated into cob- 
ble beaches. The current chronology, based on a com- 
bination of radiocarbon dating and elevation above 
sea-level, has pit-houses predating 6000 B.P.. 
Rectangular surface structures are also found prior to 
6000 B.P.; these measure ca. 8-1 2 m in length and are 
partitioned into two to five segments by rock dividers 
(Fitzhugh 1984, 1985a, 1985b:62, 1986:56, 2006). 
Between 6000-5500 B.P., rectangular surface struc- 
tures at Aillik and in the Nain area range from 9-16 m 
long and contain two to four internal segments 
(Fitzhugh 1984:10, 13). A three-segment structure at 
Aillik West-1 is dated 5210±270 B.P. (Fitzhugh 
1984:8). Between 5000-4200 B.P., a 30-40 m line of 
hearths at Okak-2 (Cox 1 977:1 84-1 85) has been inter- 
preted as a longhouse (Fitzhugh 1981:18), while at 
Black lsland-2, in Hamilton Inlet, 12 evenly spaced 
hearths suggest a 50 m long structure with 1 2-1 3 seg- 
ments (Fitzhugh 1975:122-125, 1981:17, 1984:13). 
Longhouse development reached its peak during the 
Rattlers Bight Phase (4200-3500 B.P.), with a 70 m lin- 
ear arrangement of hearths at Rattlers Bight in 
Hamilton Inlet, 27 surface longhouses ranging in 
length from 15-100 m at Nulliak Cove near Hebron, 



28 



CHAPTER 3 




and the classic 28 m long seven segment semi-subter- 
ranean structure at Aillik (Fitzhugh 1981:18, 1984, 
1986:56, 1 985a:88-89). The time of appearance of the 
first longhouses is unclear, but likely occurs between 



5000 4500 B.P.. One possible conclusion to be drawn 
from this sequence is that longhouses developed by 
"accretion" (Fitzhugh, personal communication). 
Beginning with the basal units of single compartment 



THEORY AND IVIETHOD IN THE ANALYSIS OF SOCIAL SPACE 



29 



pit-houses and two segment rectangular dwellings, 
additional compartments were simply added on in a 
geometric progression, as clones of the basal units. 

The question, however, is what constitutes a 
"longhouse" ? What is the archaeological signature of 
such a feature and how does it differ from a "rectangu- 
lar structure" and a linear arrangement of completely 
independent tents or outdoor hearths? First of all, 
"rectangular structure" seems to designate surface 
features that exhibit tent-ring-like rock borders and 
internal stone segment dividers. The term "longhouse" 
is ambiguous since it denotes a feature that is also 
rectangular, but longer— with an unspecified 
minimum length threshold— and which may or may 
not display the aforementioned architectural features 
of rectangular structures. Additionally, the term long- 
house may be a misleading metaphor since it denotes 
certain ethnographically well-known dwellings (e.g., 
Iroquoian) that are not applicable to the Labrador case. 
Rather than being continuous architectural construc- 
tions. Maritime Archaic longhouses probably consisted 
of a linear series of linked individual tents. In the case 
of the 28 m long structure at Aillik there is clearly an 
architectural unity defined by its semi-subterranean 
excavation into a cobble beach, but this may simply 
have been the foundation for several closely packed 
tent dwellings. In cases that lack obvious architectural 
components, such as the surface features at Nulliak, 
the longhouse is an inference based on several lines of 
evidence, not all of which may be present or of equal 
quality in a given case: a linear series of regularly 
spaced hearths, a bounded linear distribution of lithic 
material (3.5-4.0 m wide), segment divider rocks and 
traces of wall border rocks. 

It is impossible to be more precise about the 
nature of the spatial patterning associated with rectan- 
gular structures and longhouses because no detailed 
distribution maps have been published. Partial plans of 
longhouses from Nulliak Cove and Rattlers Bight 
(Fitzhugh 1981: Figures 7 and 10, 1985a:96-97) indi- 
cate fairly regularly spaced (3-4 m) clusters of charcoal 



and fire-cracked rock (not always mutually associated) 
running down the center of the structures (Figure 1 1 a). 
In some cases, though, charcoal concentrations also 
occur close to the presumed walls. Tool and debitage 
distributions are described as being hearth-centered 
(Fitzhugh 1981:17-18, 1985a:98, 1985b:49), but the 
details of this spatial configuration are not specified. A 
schematic diagram of a longhouse from Nulliak Cove 
shows lithic distributions that are not always associat- 
ed with possible hearths (Figure lib; Fitzhugh 
1985a:97). Some of the lithic concentrations are spa- 
tially independent, but most of them are joined along 
one side of the structure, suggesting an overlapping 
arc configuration or "ribbons" connecting separate 
concentrations. These examples should at least raise 
some questions as to how we might distinguish long- 
houses from lines of independent tents or outdoor 
hearths. 

In sum, our knowledge of Maritime Archaic 
dwelling structures is constrained by ill-defined terms 
and piecemeal information. The term "longhouse" orig- 
inated as an ad hoc category (Barsalou 1 983) formulat- 
ed to make sense of linear spatial distributions. 
Although useful for that initial purpose, the category 
needs to evolve further because considerable ambigu- 
ity results from its status as a conceptual combination 
in which archaeological attributes are mapped onto 
analog models from other contexts. It should also be 
pointed out that in addition to pit-houses, rectangular 
structures and longhouses, there are other types of 
Maritime Archaic features on the landscape that might 
be dwelling-related, such as isolated rock pavements 
(Fitzhugh 1978: Figure 14 illustrates one from Big 
Island, Sagiek Bay; the author has observed similar fea- 
tures on Uigortiek Island in the Nain region). Reducing 
ambiguity and error in our inferences will require a 
systematic study of Maritime Archaic features that doc- 
uments their range of variation and provides firmer cri- 
teria for distinguishing dwelling types with and with- 
out traces of architecture. 



30 



CHAPTER 3 




/ // Maritime Archaic ionglnouses from Nullial< Cove-1 . (a) Structure 15, (b) Structure 1 1 (after Fitziiugin 1985a 97; repro- 
duced by permission, Arctic Anthropology, University of Wisconsin Press). 



If we restrict ourselves to the established dwelling 
features, the question is: to what extent are these dif- 
ferent types or sizes of structures part of an evolution- 
ary development over time versus functional or sea- 
sonal variants? In the pre-6000 B.P. period, the coexis- 
tence of pit-houses and rectangular surface structures 
suggests they may be seasonal variants, with pit-hous- 
es used in colder periods (Fitzhugh 1 985a:89). If that 
was the case, however, the outer coast locations of the 
pit-houses do not correspond well with the postulated 
interior-maritime settlement pattern, in which fall-win- 
ter settlement is posited for the inner bays or near 
interior (Fitzhugh 1978:83-84). However, pit-houses 
might have been used on the coast in the colder spring 
or fall periods while exploiting migrating harp seal 
herds, and rectangular structures during the summer. 
Alternatively, the lack of pit-houses after 6000 B.P. 
might be explained by a shift of winter settlement from 
the outer coast to the near-interior (Fitzhugh 
1985a:88). Questions could also be raised concerning 
the contrast between the virtually semi-subterranean 
longhouse feature at Aillik and the surface longhouses 
at Nulliak Cove. Is this a seasonal difference, or is the 
Aillik feature merely a situational variant used on rocky 
cobble beaches? 



We have very little information concerning how 
Maritime Archaic dwellings were constructed. Few 
details have been published, aside from hints of post- 
holes at the Aillik longhouse (Fitzhugh 1984:33). The 
assumption is that the rectangular surface structures 
were tent dwellings and that the longhouses represent 
a series of individual tent structures placed adjacent to 
each other. The pit-houses and longhouses excavated 
into cobble beaches may also have been roofed in this 
manner; there is no evidence that they were covered 
with sod. 

Estimates of the duration of dwelling occupations 
is problematic in the absence of preserved bone mate- 
rial. Fitzhugh (1985a:98) suggests the Nulliak Cove 
longhouses were used for short periods of days or 
weeks on the basis of low rates of debris accumulation 
inside the structures and the absence of middens. This 
short occupation is related to Nulliak Cove's role as a 
repeatedly-used staging area for trips to the Ramah 
Bay chert sources, part of an "expeditionary" model of 
chert procurement involving pronounced long-distance 
seasonal mobility (Fitzhugh 1985b:50). On the other 
hand, longhouses used as seasonal base camps within 
a local settlement system may have been occupied 
longer, resulting in greater accumulation as seen in 
the "sheet midden" deposits at Rattlers Bight (Fitzhugh 



THEORY AND METHOD IN THE ANALYSIS OF SOCIAL SPACE 



31 



1981:18, 1985b;49). Consequently, we might expect 
seasonal, functional, and geographical differences in 
the nature of longhouses and their duration of occupa- 
tion. In the absence of bone material these differences 
might be reflected in the types of features and lithic 
assemblages present, the ratio of primary versus sec- 
ondary refuse (Schiffer 1987:58-72) and the degree to 
which peripheral areas of the sites exhibit build-ups of 
external activity areas (Binford 1983:190). Of course, 
these variables are complicated by other factors such 
as group size and composition and culturally codified 
disposal practices. 

The social significance of longhouses has been 
discussed from somewhat different directions. 
Although reliance on subarctic Innu ethnography as an 
analogy source led to difficulties in recognizing the 
longhouse pattern in the first place, Fitzhugh (1981, 
1984, 1985a) turns to this analogy again when inter- 
preting social space in longhouses, but it should be 
emphasized that he has not presented a full and 
explicit account of his position. He characterizes 
Maritime Archaic society in line with ethnographic 
interpretations of subarctic Algonkian society as egali- 
tarian, with emphasis on individual families and the 
personal autonomy of individuals (Fitzhugh 
1 985a:l 04-1 05). Nonetheless, when seen in terms of 
the temporal development from small pit-houses to 
longhouses, there appears to have been an increase in 
co-residential group size over time, from single family 
units (or small groups of two or three families, if clus- 
ters of two or three pit-houses indicate contemporary 
use), towards large multi-family co-residential long- 
houses consisting of 50-100 individuals (Fitzhugh 
1 984:20). Additionally, variation in mortuary treatment 
may indicate some degree of status distinction in 
Maritime Archaic society (Fitzhugh 1 978:85, 1 981 :32). 

A consequence of this social model is that when 
analyzing architecturally distinct Maritime Archaic 
dwelling features, Fitzhugh emphasizes the signifi- 
cance of the individual segments or compartments of 
the structures, which he considers to be individual 



family living floors. In the case of the more ambigu- 
ous linear distributions of hearths and iithics, he 
views hearth-centered distributions as indicative of 
individual family living floors (Fitzhugh 1984:18, 
1985a:98). The individual family floor areas can be 
thought of as structural "modules" (Binford 
1 983:1 47). A pit- house then consists of a single such 
module while a longhouse is a linear accretion of 
multiple modules. In earlier published papers, 
Fitzhugh (1984:8-9, 1985a:96) argued that the regu- 
lar spacing of hearths and debris distributions relat- 
ed to longhouse segments is strongly repetitive, indi- 
cating the dwelling compartments were used simulta- 
neously. More recently, however, Fitzhugh (2006: 
12-13) suggests that perhaps not all longhouse 
modules were contemporary. The central segments 
of longhouses tend to have greater accumulations of 
debris than the peripheral segments, suggestive of 
longer occupation. Dwellings may have been organ- 
ized around a stable central unit, with additional seg- 
ments being added or subtracted on an "accordion" 
basis in relation to the arrival and departure of fami- 
lies. In this reading, the overall configuration of a 
longhouse is largely determined by repetitive 
"microscale" patterns at the module level. 

Modular organization plays a conceptual and 
methodological role in how spatial patterning in 
dwellings is linked to possible social distinctions in 
Maritime Archaic societies. Fitzhugh (1985a:98) 
views Maritime Archaic social organization as "gener- 
ally egalitarian" because the contents of longhouse 
segments are repetitive in terms of household activi- 
ties and material culture. Nonetheless, there are indi- 
cations that some artifact production and discard, 
particularly that involving Ramah chert, slate and 
soapstone, may be concentrated in particular parts of 
a longhouse. The possibility that these segments 
were communal work areas is dismissed, since the 
content and configuration of these areas is similar to 
the other segments. In any event, the implication is 
that relative social equality/distinction might be 



32 



CHAPTER 3 



investigated through the degree of module redundan- 
cy or variability (Fitzhugh 1 984: 1 1 ). 

Modular organization is one analytical framework 
we can use in analyzing Maritime Archaic dwellings 
but, as indicated, it is also linked to ethnographically 
derived premises about individual family-focused 
social organization as well as the assumption that the 
overall configuration of a longhouse results from 
repeated replication of microscale processes at the 
modular level. As an alternative, the continuous linear 
pattern may be generated by macroscale processes 
which unite several modular units into a spatial logic 
partly determined by the meaning of the dwelling as a 
whole. This unifying spatial logic may be social and 
ideological rather than simply a functional conse- 
quence of dwelling geometry— the cloning of individ- 
ual family modules. Structural linearity may be an 
organizational principle in which the practical ordering 
of domestic space in the course of daily life is a vehi- 
cle for actively structuring social relations, as well as 
being a symbolic representation of those relations. 

The unifying linear principle could indicate an 
emphasis on connected space, a merging of private 
and public space that expresses a corporate social 
logic rather than a logic of familial segmentation. 
Elsewhere, the author suggested that; 

The spatial logic of the longhouse, consisting 
of an extremely contrived linear ordering of 
individual social units, conveyed a tension 
within Maritime Archaic society between the 
autonomy of individual household units and 
the collective organization of emergent cor- 
porate groups. Maritime Archaic seasonal 
mobility might have entailed tendencies 
towards group fission, flexible autonomous 
social units and temporary settlements. 
Household autonomy was spatially encoded 
in the segmentation of longhouses into multi- 
ple compartments representing individual 
household floors. These individual social 



modules were incorporated into a larger col- 
lective unit by the overall structure of the 
dwelling. The longhouse structure physically 
created a corporate unit and gave that unit a 
temporary (seasonal) material existence 
through the organization of domestic space. 
Furthermore, the longhouse helped establish 
an ideological fiction of collectivity in a social 
world which otherwise tended towards sea- 
sonal fragmentation. I suggest that this pat- 
tern signifies the emergence of situational 
rather than permanent corporate principles 
and expresses flux in Maritime Archaic com- 
plexity processes (Hood 1995:95). 

The methodological consequence of such a social 
model is that spatial analysis must be multiscalar. At 
the microscale level the focus is on patterning within 
individual modules. At the mesoscale level the patterns 
that cross-cut or unite modules are considered. At the 
macroscale, patterns at the level of the dwelling as a 
whole are investigated. 

One of the main practical problems in developing 
accurate descriptions of Maritime Archaic dwelling 
structures is delimiting them in size. This is particular- 
ly the case for ambiguous linear distributions without 
clear architectural demarcation. Longhouse interpreta- 
tion may be complicated by overlapping between non- 
contemporary structures and the resulting palimpsest 
accumulations. Without systematic radiocarbon dating 
of hearths, combined with refitting studies, we have no 
firm grounds for assuming that longhouse segments 
constitute a contemporaneous unity. This methodolog- 
ical problem has broader interpretative significance in 
that lacking good control over segment contemporane- 
ity we have no grounds for accurate dwelling size esti- 
mates, thus no grounds for inferring the demographic 
and social composition of a settlement or for postulat- 
ing symbolic order and meaning. 

The foregoing discussion focused on identifiable 
dwelling structures, but it is obviously not the case 



THEORY AND METHOD IN THE ANALYSIS OF SOCIAL SPACE 



33 



that all patterns at Maritime Archaic sites are the con- 
sequence of activities conducted within the confines of 
dwellings. To avoid unwarranted accommodation argu- 
ments we need alternative models for identifying dis- 
tribution patterns unrelated to dwelling structures. 
Binford's (1 983:1 56-1 59;165-1 70) well-known distinc- 
tion between patterns connected with indoor and out- 
door hearths and his discussion of "extensive" activity 
areas is one point of departure. 

Expanding the View: Other Archaeological 
Contexts 

Longhouses are an unusual dwelling form among 
ethnographically known hunter-gatherers. North 
American subarctic ethnography contains examples of 
large communal structures (see below), but none of 
these had linear dimensions approaching those of Late 
Maritime Archaic dwellings and there is little documen- 
tation of their spatial patterning. Otherwise, longhous- 
es are better represented in the ethnography of seden- 
tary agricultural societies such as the Iroquoians. Since 
the latter analogy is problematic for northern hunter- 
gatherers, it may be useful to take a comparative 
archaeological view and consider the spatial patterning 
associated with longhouse-like features in the eastern 
subarctic, arctic and elsewhere. What spatial patterns 
result when people are enclosed in linear structures? 
This will hardly be comprehensive, but will attempt to 
develop a sense of the variability in spatial patterning. 

Beginning close to Labrador, an interesting exam- 
ple is Seguin's (1995) work on sites dating 700-1000 
B.P. in the James Bay region of northern Quebec. 
Seguin applied Binford's hearth-centered model and 
Cree ethnography to the interpretation of hearth-cen- 
tered distributions lacking evidence of structural 
remains. Archaeologically, she distinguished between 
external hearths, small structures with single central 
hearths and longhouses with two or multiple hearths. 
Her brief consideration of the ethnographic material 
suggested there are regional variations among Cree 
groups in the positioning of activities and persons vis 



a vis hearths. In the Mistassini area, men's and 
women's activities are conducted on the same side of 
the hearth, while in the Chisasibi area they are con- 
ducted on opposite sides. The longhouse structure 
posited for site GdFc-2 (Figure 12a; Seguin 1995:44) 
consisted of four hearths placed in a ca. 9 m long line, 
spaced at ca. 1 m intervals; lithic concentrations were 
found on opposite sides of two hearths and on one 
side of the other two. Seguin interpreted this distribu- 
tion as a ca. 1 3 m long, 5.5 m wide longhouse, with 
the lithic concentrations representing activities con- 
ducted between the hearths and the dwelling walls. 

In contrast, Loring (1 992:245, 250-260) described 
a probable longhouse (shaputuan) dated 1800-1500 
B.P. at Daniel Rattle-1, Area IV, near Davis Inlet on the 
Labrador coast. There was no trace of walls; the fea- 
ture consisted of a 4.5 m long, 1 .0 m wide, raised lin- 
ear hearth with two smaller cobble hearths slightly dis- 
tant at both ends. The central hearth was tightly 
packed with calcined bone fragments, bone ash, ther- 
mally-altered Ramah chert flakes and heat-shattered 
biface fragments, and fire-cracked rocks. Lithic tools 
and flakes occurred in a major concentration extend- 
ing 3.5 m outwards on one of the long sides of the 
hearth feature, with a two diffuse clusters on the oppo- 
site side and minor concentrations associated with the 
small end-hearths. 

Returning to Quebec, at site CbFd-9 (Figure 12b) 
Seguin (1995:43) identified two features (B and E) as 
external hearths, although the excavated area was too 
small to identify possible drop/toss zones. Six other 
hearths (A, C, D, F-H) were placed in a 30 m long line, 
spaced at intervals of 4.4 to 6.6 m. Lithic remains 
were concentrated within 1 .0 to 1.5 m of the hearth 
centers, in five cases on opposite sides of the hearths, 
in one case as two clusters on the same side. Each 
hearth is interpreted as the focus of a separate tent 
structure, but little justification is given for this conclu- 
sion. Hearths C, D and F are closely positioned and are 
aligned on the same axis, hearths C and H lie slightly 
apart from the first group and are aligned on a slight- 



34 



CHAPTER 3 




1 2/ Pre-contact Recent Indian dwelling features, (a) longhouse, CdFc-2, Riviere Laforge, Quebec (after Seguin 1995:44). 
(b) individual tent structures, CbFd-D, Riviere Laforge, Quebec (after Seguin 1995:43). (c) tent dwelling, Kamarsuk Area II, 
Labrador (after Loring 1992:266, 270). Figures a and b reproduced by permission, I' Association des archeologues du Quebec. 



ly different axis, and hearth A is out of alignment with 
the C-D-F group. It is unclear why the C-D-F and C-H 
groups could not be considered longhouses; the only 
difference appears to be that their lithic concentrations 
are oriented towards what would be the middle of a 
longhouse rather than lying between the hearths and 
the walls. This would seem to be a weak criterion given 
the ethnographic observations on variability in the 
placement of activities around hearths. Indeed, with 
Fitzhugh's longhouse model in mind, one might even 
consider the possibility of a larger structure, given a 
refit between hearth areas A and F. Nonetheless, 
Seguin's material is very relevant to the Maritime 
Archaic longhouse discussion, since it provides some 
concrete archaeological examples of alternatives in 
spatial patterning and it attempts to apply an ethnoar- 
chaeologically-derived behavioral model. 

Seguin's individual structure interpretation can be 
compared with Loring's (1992:266-276) discussion of 
a Late Prehistoric dwelling from Kamarsuk Area II, 
north of Davis Inlet, Labrador (Figure 1 2c). The feature 
was a slightly semi-subterranean oval tent structure, 
4 by 5 m in size, with a raised central cobble hearth. 
The hearth contained calcined bone fragments and 
thermally altered Ramah chert. There was a pro- 
nounced concentration of debitage on one side of the 
hearth, but relatively little on the opposite side, sug- 



gesting the latter was used as a sleeping area. A sec- 
ond concentration of Ramah chert debitage at one end 
of the structure and extending outside suggested a 
doorway midden. This spatial pattern is broadly simi- 
lar to that identified by Seguin and bears a strong 
resemblance to Binford's "archetype" model for hearth- 
centered patterns expected in enclosed and main- 
tained spaces (i.e., Palanga's House, Figure 6b). 

A distinctly different pattern was found at the late 
Point Revenge Complex Winter Cove-4 site (ca. 500 
B.P.) in Hamilton Inlet, Labrador (Fitzhugh 1 978b). This 
feature was a 4 by 8 m oval tent ring with a single cen- 
tral internal hearth and nine external hearths. Some of 
the external hearths were almost superimposed by the 
tent ring such that, in contrast to Fitzhugh's interpre- 
tation, they may represent earlier activity. Very little 
lithic material was found inside the tent ring; only a 
small concentration adjacent to the well-constructed 
hearth and along the southeastern wall of the feature. 
This seems consistent with Binford's inside-hearth 
model. Most of the lithics were concentrated around 
the external hearths, which were less substantial cob- 
blestone clusters. The tools and flakes mostly lay adja- 
cent to the hearths (akin to drop zones), but in one 
case there was a wide scatter of debitage extending 
out at least 3 m from a hearth, evidently a "non-main- 
tained" zone. Fitzhugh (1 978b:l 58-1 59) suggested the 



THEORY AND METHOD IN THE ANALYSIS OF SOCIAL SPACE 



35 



structure represents a warm weather occupation by a 
multi-family group. 

Returning to the spatial structure of longhouses, 
another archaeological case of such features can be 
found in Late Dorset Paleoeskimo society (ca. 500- 
1 000/1 200 AD). These features range from 1 to 45 m 
in length, 5-7 m wide, and sometimes incorporate 
stone walls up to 1 meter in height. The central corri- 
dors may lack distinctive hearths, although there may 
be traces of a central "passage" with rock construc- 
tions and burned fat. The walls sometimes contain 
small niches with traces of burned fat and possible 
domestic activities. In some cases, lines of external 
hearths and caches run parallel to the structures 
(Appelt and Cullov 1998:148-149, 1999;24-35; 
Damkjar 2000; McChee 1971; Plumet 1985; 
Schledermann 1 990:202-251 ). Investigators agree that 
these structures represent the communal ritual activi- 
ties of multi-family groups, probably conducted during 
the summer, but they disagree on whether the struc- 
tures were roofed tent dwellings or whether the walls 
were merely symbolic. Plumet (1985:228-229, 366- 
367, 371) argues that the spatial logic was of individ- 
ual family floor spaces along the walls, with a linear 
central communal area that was a symbolic spatial 
transformation of the axial structure principle used in 
smaller Dorset sod-house dwellings. 

Perhaps the clearest example of longhouse spatial 
patterning is found in a 15.5 m long feature at the 
David site in northwest Greenland (Appelt and Cullov 
1999:36-40; Figure 13a), where a series of separate 
lithic concentrations were closely linked to a central 
passage feature. Some of the concentrations lay adja- 
cent to stone-slab pits of unknown function. Four of 
these clusters were regularly spaced along the east 
side of the passage (ca. 7 m between center points); 
the clusters were all somewhat oval and of broadly 
similar dimensions (4-6 m long, 3-4 m wide). On the 
west side of the passage were two linear distributions 
of similar dimensions (5-6 m long, 2 m wide) and a 
small flake concentration at one end of the passage. 



There were also four small clusters of tools lying out- 
side the main concentrations. Thus, there were slight 
differences in depositional patterns on either side of 
the passage such that the configuration was somewhat 
asymmetric. The eastern wall contained traces of at 
least six regularly spaced (1.5 m) slabs with burned fat 
suggestive of hearth areas. It may be significant that 
the largest debris concentrations occurred on this side 
of the structure. 

Schledermann's (1 990:209-21 1 , 239, 245) spatial 
distribution data from Ellesmere Island exhibit gener- 
ally similar tendencies. At the Longhouse site, partial 
excavation of a 45 m long feature suggested a pattern 
of paired lithic/bone clusters on opposite sides of the 
central area. The clusters were of similar size (mostly 
2.0 by 1 .0-1 .5 m) and fairly evenly spaced along each 
side (mostly 2.0-2.5 m between their center points). 
Although there were sporadic traces of charcoal and 
burned bone there were no distinct hearths. The pat- 
tern in the 14.5 m long structure at the Cove site sug- 
gests seven clusters of variable dimensions on each 
side of the passage. The clusters along the southern 
half of the structure seem semi-regularly spaced (1 .5- 
2.7 m between center points) and have higher find 
densities than those on the northern side of the struc- 
ture. Although those on the northern side are also reg- 
ularly spaced (1.5 m between center points), they are 
arranged in two groups separated by 4.5 m of low den- 
sity: four at the western end of the structure, two at 
the eastern end. Again, there is a hint of slight asym- 
metry in cluster placement and deposition, as at the 
David site feature. 

A slightly different pattern was found in Late 
Dorset House B at the UNC-1 1 site in the Ungava 
region (Plumet 1985:105-134, 209-231, hors texte 9 
and 1 0). The feature was ca. 36 m long and 5 m wide 
(Figure 13b). The central axis of the structure had a 
slightly raised ridge containing stone-lined boxes and 
pits with traces of burned fat and red ocher. In the wall 
area there were several niches consisting of flat slabs 
and burned fat that were spaced at 2-3 m intervals. A 



36 



CHAPTER 3 



schematic summary indicates the lithic distribution 
was primarily concentrated in the southern end of the 
structure. Debris occurred along the walls as near-con- 
tinuous distributions, with hints of separate but over- 
lapping clusters spaced about two meters apart, evi- 
dently associated with the wall niches. Seven smaller 
clusters (mostly 1.5-2.0 m in diameter) occurred clos- 
er to the center, adjacent to the box and pit features. 

The spatial patterning in these structures is rea- 
sonably consistent, with small, relatively discrete, 
sometimes regularly spaced, debris clusters along 
both sides of the central axis of the features. These 
clusters are associated with rock constructions and 
traces of burning. Possible hearth niches in the walls at 
the David site and UNC-1 1 seem to be associated with 
larger and denser debris accumulations. Hence, 
although we lack evidence for "classic " hearth-centered 
distributions there are strong indications that the dis- 
tributions are feature-related, probably to 
cooking/heating/ illumination areas with oil lamps. A 
slight exception to the pattern of relatively discrete 
debris clusters is UNC-1 1, where there was greater 
accumulation of material adjacent to the walls and 
overlap between niche-related distributions. It should 
be kept in mind, however, that although these feature- 
centered distributions seem similar to those associat- 
ed with domestic hearths, the spatial organization of 
Late Dorset longhouses was likely structured by spe- 
cial ritual practices. 

A final archaeological example comes from farther 
afield: the well-known, although not well understood, 
"longhouse" structures from the Russian Upper 
Paleolithic site Kostenki (Crigor'ev 1967; Klein 
1969:114-117, 170-177). The three structures 
described by Klein had similar features: lines of 9-10 
hearths, mostly spaced ca. 1.5-2.0 m apart. 
Distributions of the associated artifactual materials 
suggested one dwelling 35 m in length by 1 0-1 5 m in 
width, a second 35 m in length by 5 m in width, and a 
third 23 m in length by 5 m in width. Cache pits with 
mammoth bone and smaller circular structures that 



might have been house-pits were also present. These 
features, and the complex sites of which they are a 
part, present similar analytical problems, and then 
some, to the Maritime Archaic longhouses that lack 
clear architectural features. Crigor'ev (1993:58-59) 
notes that delineation of the dwelling boundaries is 
arbitrary line-drawing through density distributions, 
but the lithic distributions from Kostenki I, Horizon 1 
(Crigor'ev 1 967:345; Klem 1 969:1 1 7) at least provide 
a sense of the spatial structure at the site (Figure 1 3c). 
Taking into account that some excavation units were 
destroyed, the most dense flake concentrations were 
located primarily within a 1 -3 m distance of the central 
hearths, although towards the southern end of the pro- 
posed dwelling the debitage extended up to 4 meters 
distant. The concentrations were all on the eastern 
side of the dwelling, with the exception of two small 
clusters on western side of the hearth line. The south- 
ern portion of the dwelling had a near continuous dis- 
tribution of flakes paralleling four of the hearths and 
there may have been a separate concentration in the 
middle near two hearths, as well as a separate concen- 
tration paralleling the three northernmost hearths. If, 
for the sake of argument, we accept Crigor'ev's 
dwelling boundary, it would appear that the longhouse 
dwelling was surrounded by storage pits and there 
might have been some external lithic reduction or 
dumping of waste from inside the dwelling. 

It is interesting to compare the spatial patterns of 
the archaeological longhouses described above. There 
are obvious parallels between Seguin's northern 
Quebec longhouse, the Late Dorset structures and the 
Kostenki situation— clusters of debris on either side of 
central hearths (or central "features" in the case of Late 
Dorset)— although the Kostenki pattern is one of less 
discrete clusters with much more overlap between 
what may or may not have been individual hearth-cen- 
tered distributions. The more continuous distributions 
at Kostenki are similar to the wall-related concentra- 
tions in the Ungava Late Dorset longhouse. Each of 
these cases varies somewhat in the position of relative- 



THEORY AND METHOD IN THE ANALYSIS OF SOCIAL SPACE 



37 



I'- 



David Site 
Thule District 

^ stone wall 

hearth 

j I lithic concentration 

^2 tool outlier 

— 2m scale 



(a) 




UNG-11 
Ungava Bay 

J house wall 

hearth 

Q rock feature 

1 lithic concentration 
— 2m scale 



(b) 



0' 



o 





(!)(£] 



(c) 



Kostenki I 
Russia 

inferred wall 
^ hearth 
[~~] lithic concentration 
2m scale 



/5/ /.afe Dorset and Russian Upper Paleolithic longhouses. (a) Late Dorset longhouse, David site, Thule district, Greenland 
(after Appelt et al. 1 999 36-40). (b) Late Dorset longhouse, UNC I 1 , Ungava, Quebec (after Plumet 1985: hors texte 9, 10); 
reproduced by permission of author), (c) Upper Paleolithic longhouse, Kostenki I, Russia (after Crigor'iev 1967:345: repro- 
duced by permission. Current Anthropology, University of Chicago Press). 



ly empty or maintained space: in the Quebec Late Pre- 
Contact case it is near the walls, in the Late Dorset 
longhouses it may occur in the center, near the walls, 
or at one end of the structures, while at Kostenki it 
consists of most of one entire side of the structure. 
In sum, these archaeological examples exhibit similar 
micro-scale patterns involving feature-centered distri- 
butions that probably result from commonalities in 
body mechanics. But they also suggest that feature- 
centered distributions were organized into macro-level 
configurations through different kinds of social prac- 
tices or cultural logics. In the case of Maritime Archaic 
longhouses we might anticipate that micro-level fea- 
ture-centered distributions will be similar to those in 
the behavioral models, but that their integration into 
the dwelling as a whole will be culturally idiosyncratic. 
We should now briefly consider some ethnographic 
examples that illustrate the mutual structuring of spa- 
tial practice and cultural logic. 

Ethnography: Social Space and Meaning 

The preceding discussion of archaeological spatial 
patterning identified some micro-level behavioral con- 
sistencies, but the interpretive scope of these observa- 
tions is limited: "We are left with a bunch of pieces, 
but cannot explain why they are assembled the way 
they are" (Whitelaw 1994:219). The integration of 



micro-patterns into macro-configurations is structured 
by differing social and cultural logics that were hinted 
at but not illuminated in the preceding discussion. The 
behavioral dimensions of dwelling space will now be 
related to social and ideological aspects of spatial 
organization using ethnographic analogies, beginning 
with social organization linkages then shifting towards 
the symbolic. 

The strongly behavioral ethnoarchaeological stud- 
ies of spatial patterns have been supplemented by 
greater attention to the role of social organization in 
community patterning. To a great extent this has 
focused on the degree to which dwelling proximity in 
settlement layouts correlates with social relationships 
such as kinship, sharing and labor cooperation (e.g., 
Binford 1991; Gargett and Hayden 1991; Whitelaw 
1991; Yellen 1977). Whitelaw's (1991) cross-cultural 
study of hunter-gatherer community space concluded 
that there are clear linkages between spatial and social 
proximity, and that increases in social scale result in 
more organization or patterning of community struc- 
ture. In situations involving cooperation in labour or 
resource sharing, close spacing of habitations facili- 
tates interaction, but also the monitoring of behavior 
and possessions (Whitelaw 1991:168), which plays 
into the regulation of cooperation and sharing. 
Whitelaw (1 991 : 1 65) notes that linear spatial arrange- 



38 



CHAPTER 3 



merits are primarily found in arctic and subarctic 
regions; strangely, he relates this to dispersal of social 
units along shorelines and claims that "...because lin- 
ear arrangements allow only one or two neighbors, 
they do not particularly emphasize the coherence of a 
group." Such a conclusion is thin, to say the least, and 
it seems absurd to suggest that linear arrangements 
such as Maritime Archaic longhouses contribute little 
to group coherence. Although cross-cultural general- 
izations can point to general patterns to be investigat- 
ed, they are not very context sensitive and in a case 
such as hunter-gatherer longhouses, which are very 
rare in the ethnographic record, they completely fail 
us. It is necessary, therefore, to explore specific con- 
textual studies in order to arrive at a more dynamic 
view of spatial patterning. 

Archaeological treatment of the meaningful 
dimensions of space has built on the seminal work of 
Bourdieu (1979) and Levi-Strauss (1963) on dwelling 
organization, combined with Ciddens' (1984) struc- 
turation theory, the work of diverse human geogra- 
phers and influences from phenomenology. At the risk 
of oversimplifying, the common thread is that space is 
organized in accordance with symbolic principles, but 
spatial meanings are invoked, reproduced or changed 
through human practice (Parker Pearson and Richards 
1994:5). Meaningful space is constructed through 
social action and, in turn, that construction acts back 
upon social action: meaning-laden space is both a 
product and precedent of agency. This holds for the 
small scale of dwelling sites as well as for large scale 
landscapes (Tilley 1994). The following is a nice sum- 
mary statement of this view, as applied to the organi- 
zation of housing space: 

The house and the body are intimately linked. 
The house is an extension of the person; like 
an extra skin, carapace or second layer of 
clothes, it serves as much to reveal and dis- 
play as it does to hide and protect. House, 
body and mind are in continuous interaction, 



the physical structure, furnishing, social con- 
ventions and mental images of the house at 
once enabling, moulding, informing and con- 
straining the activities and ideas which unfold 
within its bounds. A ready-made environment 
is fashioned by a previous generation and 
lived in long before it becomes an object of 
thought, the house is a prime agent of social- 
ization (Carsten and Hugh-Jones 1995:2). 

A focus on the interplay of mind, architecture and 
action leads to consideration of the metaphorical role 
played by housing as a material representation of social 
structure and ideology, either as a mirror or transforma- 
tion. Seen from the structuralist tradition, components 
of houses can represent social divisions and hierar- 
chies, while the dwelling as a whole can give the appear- 
ance of unity to opposing principles (Carsten and Hugh- 
Jones 1995:8, 12) or encode cosmological metaphors. 
As emphasized above, however, these are not static 
abstract structures but codes and materials that are 
produced and reproduced through daily practice. 

An example of this perspective is Yates' (1989) 
structuralist analysis of social space in Sami tents. 
Gender was structured by divisions into male (back) 
and female (front) space, while the generations (par- 
ents and young children, versus older children) were 
distinguished laterally. In both cases the central hearth 
served as the fulcrum of the spatial differentiation. 
These socio-spatial divisions were paralleled by con- 
ceptual divisions based on Sami cosmology, such that 
a series of binary oppositions were played out within 
the horizontal dwelling space: male/female, 
back/front, north/south, winter/summer, sacred/pro- 
fane, clean/unclean, death/life, hunting/milking, hunt- 
ing blood/menstrual blood. The hearth was the crucial 
center that mediated these oppositions. Furthermore, 
the vertical space of the tent was divided into levels 
associated with divisions of the heavens, with different 
spiritual personages associated with each level. 
Consequently, the tent was a locus in which gender 



THEORY AND IV1ETH0D IN THE ANALYSIS OF SOCIAL SPACE 



39 



and other structures were produced and reproduced in 
daily practices. 

Siberian Nenets tent interiors and camp lay-outs 
are also structured by gender divisions and rules for 
movement (Golovnev and Osherenko 1999:32-39; 
Haakanson 2000:82-89). Tent doors normally face 
east. Within the tent the central hearth is the anchor 
point for an invisible symbolic siyangi line that extends 
westwards across the floor and continues outside the 
tent in the opposite direction from the entrance. 
Movement of all people within the tent is restricted to 
the front and sides of the hearth because it is not per- 
mitted to cross the siyangi line behind the hearth. 
Outside the tent, adult women are not permitted to 
cross the siyangi line when they are within sight of the 
camp. This means that women cannot move behind 
the tents and must instead depart and return from the 
front entrances by following the same path. Women's 
work areas are therefore in front of the tents. Although 
the movement of adult men is restricted within the tent 
it is not restricted outside; the men's work area is 
behind the tent where the siyangi line projects west- 
wards. These symbolic orientation and movement reg- 
ulation principles have consequences for the lay-out of 
multi-tent camps (Figure 14). The tents must be set up 
in a line along a north-south axis in order to maintain 
the principle that women cannot cross the multiple 
siyangi lines that extend from the western (back) sides 
of the dwellings (Haakanson 2000:219). The spacing 
between the tents is related to the nature and close- 
ness of personal relationships (Haakanson 2000:221). 
It is interesting to compare this rule-structured lineari- 
ty of individual dwellings with the linear organization 
of Maritime Archaic longhouses. 

Tanner (1979:73-107) discusses the symbolic 
dimensions of space among the Mistassini Cree. For 
much of the year the Cree use single-family tent 
dwellings. When they are used at winter aggregation 
sites, Tanner (1979:83) notes they are arranged in a 
line. He suggests that a location on one end of the line 
will be chosen by the hunting group leader. Single-fam- 



ily dwellings display a consistent pattern of internal 
organization. A central hearth is placed back from the 
doorway and a living area is positioned at the back of 
the dwelling behind the hearth and opposite the door. 
Each individual has their own place at the rear of the 
dwelling, while the front of the dwelling is communal 
space. The tent space is also divided by gender, with 
one side associated with women, the other with men. 
Within the gender divisions there are further spatial 
positionings in relation to marital status and age. 
Household items and foods are also ordered in relation 
to the gender division. The meat of large animals 
(moose, caribou, bear) is stored on the male side, 
while that of smaller animals (beaver, etc.) is stored on 
the women's side and each gender attends to the prop- 
er ritual treatment and disposal of the bones. 

This basic pattern recurs when the Cree move to 
winter communal dwellings, which are shared by sev- 
eral families. Divisions of male and female space are 
maintained, with the proviso that adjacent families 
cannot place members of the same gender adjacent to 
each other. The hunting party leader selects a position 
near the doorway. Tanner (1979:86-87) notes that 
"...the move to a communal dwelling brings about a 
minimal alteration in the use of domestic space by the 
individual commensal group, and the relative autono- 
my of each group is preserved. " This is consistent with 
Fitzhugh's (1985a) interpretations of Maritime Archaic 
longhouses. It should be noted, however, that unlike 
other frequently cited ethnographic cases (e.g., 
Bourdieu 1970; Carsten and Hugh-Jones 1995; Yates 
1989), the organization of Cree interior space is not 
structured by geographic or cosmological symbolism 
(Tanner 1 979:87). 

The eastern subarctic ethnographic record con- 
tains sporadic references to large dwellings that could 
be called "longhouses." Among the Labrador Innu and 
the Quebec Cree a large multi-hearth tent (Innu: 
shaputuan) was associated with the makushan cari- 
bou feast (Henriksen 1 973:35-39; Tanner 1979:162- 
1 69, 1 80). Among the Ojibway, bark longhouses were 



40 



CHAPTER 3 



women's path 



East 



corral 



women's path 



siyangi line 




siyangi line 





siyangi line 




siyangi line 



siyangi line 



firewood 



• hearth 

□ women's work area 
I I sled 

men's work area 



14/ Spatial organization of a Nenets summer camp (after i-laal<anson 2000:87; reproduced by permission of autlnor). 



used by the Midewiwin ritual societies (Landes 
1968:133; Steinbring 1 981:252). An Interesting (but 
not very well documented) example of symbolic spa- 
tial structures in the eastern subarctic is depicted in 
an eighteenth century painting by Major George Seton 
of a ritual feature constructed by the Cree (illustrated 
in McGhee 1996:176). The feature is an enclosure 
constructed of tightly-packed, shoulder-high branches 
embedded In the ground; judging by the size of the 
Cree figures, it must have been at least 25 m long and 
5 m wide. At each end of the feature Is an opening 
framed by arched tree branches while the central por- 
tion of the interior contains one or two hearths, a 
wooden post embedded upright in the ground and 
three presumably dead animals. The Cree (approxi- 
mately 55 people are depicted within and around the 
feature) are mostly seated along the Interior walls. 



The feature seems to be a ritual transformation of a 
shaputuan structure. 

The foregoing discussion points to several dimen- 
sions of variation beyond the strictly behavioral that 
may contribute to spatial patterning in dwellings. The 
problem for many will be: so what? These social and 
Ideological dimensions are so culturally specific that 
they cannot be Inferred reliably from archaeological 
data. But although signifying practices cannot be 
inferred reliably, they are obviously an important 
source of spatial structure that cannot be ignored. We 
can at least engage In contextual studies of spatial 
patterning that are open to such Interpretive issues. 
With all the foregoing considerations in mind, 
methodological strategies for exploring different 
dimensions of spatial patterning In Maritime Archaic 
and Paleoesklmo sites will now be drafted. 



THEORY AND METHOD IN THE ANALYSIS OF SOCIAL SPACE 



41 



Methodological Strategy for the Spatial 
Analysis of Maritime Archaic Sites 

As emphasized above, a multi-scalar approach is 
required if we are to link social interpretations with 
patterning in Maritime Archaic dwellings. Three levels 
are discussed: micro-, meso- and macro-scales. In each 
case model-based interpretation and pattern recogni- 
tion studies are played off against each other. The 
operation of site formation processes must also be 
considered. 

Inside vs Outside Patterns 

The first step in analyzing ambiguous distributions 
lacking clear architectural features is to distinguish 
between patterns likely to have been produced within 
dwelling structures versus those indicative of outdoor 
activities. According to Binford (1983:156-158, 176- 
184), distributions characteristic of dwelling interiors 
may exhibit the following characteristics: the outer 
border of the distribution is sharply constrained 
(indicative of a tent wall), hearths are carefully con- 
structed to avoid uncontrolled burning and dispersal 
of ash and coals, no drop-toss zones are associated 
with hearths due to repeated maintenance activity, and 
outdoor dumps may accumulate as a consequence of 
maintenance procedures (Figure 6b). Maintenance 
activities may result in size-sorting of artifactual 
remains with a tendency towards smaller items remain- 
ing inside dwellings and larger items being transferred 
to external dumps (O'Connell 1987). While these sug- 
gestions seem to be a reasonable baseline, there are 
different ways of organizing internal space and the 
degree of maintenance activity may vary with the 
length of occupation. 

Outdoor activities may be less spatially bounded 
than indoor activities: indeed some activities are con- 
ducted outdoors because of a need for unconstrained 
space or because the activities would be too messy or 
disruptive to be conducted within a dwelling (Binford 
1983:170). Binford's (1978, 1983:153-156) model of 
activities conducted around outdoor hearths postu- 



lates the presence of distinct depositional zones relat- 
ed to the features (Figure 6a). Drop zones should occur 
in an arc close to the hearths and contain small items 
that fell beside the hearth-users. On the opposite side 
of the hearth might be a forward toss zone where larg- 
er objects were thrown, while behind the hearth-users 
is a backward toss zone for larger items. The general 
configuration thus includes a size-sorting of objects. 
Additionally, the outer edge of the hearth-centered dis- 
tribution will exhibit a gradual fall-off rather than clear 
bounding. Broadly similar patterns may be associated 
with other features related to "extensive" activity areas, 
such as butchering locales and cooking pits (Binford 
1 983: 1 65-1 70). Another characteristic of outside dis- 
tributions may be a relative lack of maintenance activ- 
ity, which may result in mostly primary rather than sec- 
ondary refuse. Nonetheless, a variety of formation 
processes may contribute to the "smearing" of these 
patterns, resulting in considerable ambiguity 
(Stevenson 1 991 ). 

Micro-scale Analysis 

Initially, micro-scale analysis is directed towards the 
identification of relatively discrete behavioral units 
defined empirically through pattern recognition stud- 
ies involving tool and debitage distributions and their 
relationships with features. Identification may involve 
visual inspection of point plots and density contours, 
or the use of quantitative techniques such as /c-means 
cluster analysis and correspondence analysis. The con- 
tents of /(-means clusters can be compared using con- 
tingency table analysis. The distribution patterns 
should be interpreted in terms of their status as pri- 
mary/secondary refuse and be related to body 
mechanics and daily practices. These micro-scale pat- 
terns can then be coordinated to identify possible 
behavioral modules, at which point the ethnoarchaeo- 
logical models for feature-centered distributions can 
be applied. These behavioral modules then become 
social-analytical units for defining possible family floor 
spaces or longhouse segments. 



42 



CHAPTER 3 



Meso-scale Analysis 

Meso-scale analysis is directed towards phenomena 
which link modules together, both behaviorally and 
socially. Continuous linear distributions of primary 
refuse are probably the best indicators of supra-mod- 
ule behavioral patterning, since they are most lil<ely to 
be the product of in situ social action. Cross-module 
distributions of secondary refuse would be more 
ambiguous, as secondary refuse is indicative of main- 
tenance behavior rather than in situ social action. For 
example, continuous distributions of small-sized deb- 
itage might be a better meso-scale indicator than fire- 
cracked rock, since the latter is more likely to be sec- 
ondary refuse. Cross-module links might also be iden- 
tified through refitting analyses or more general tech- 
nological organization studies aimed at mapping the 
staging of lithic reduction in different parts of a 
dwelling. Other characteristics, such as rock construc- 
tions and even the orientation of empty spaces, may 
also play a role in identifying meso-scale patterning. 

Macro-scale Analysis 

Macro-scale analysis is concerned with the overall form 
of the dwelling: how its structural logic channels prac- 
tice, its role as both a material precedent for and prod- 
uct of social action, and how the dwelling form may 
represent conceptual structures. These questions may 
be addressed qualitatively by identifying patterns of 
symmetry, order, repetition and relationships between 
communal and private space. Quantitatively, the focus 
is on comparing the contents of individual modules to 
identify patterns of repetition or variability that may be 
related to social similarities or differences. These pat- 
terns can be assessed using simple contingency table 
comparisons of module content, or in the case of larg- 
er structures, correspondence analysis. 

Although these three analytical levels have been 
presented in a sequence from micro-analysis to macro- 
analysis, this does not imply that one must begin with 
the former and end with the latter. Indeed, as will be 
shown in Chapter 6, it may be useful to begin with an 



assessment of overall structural patterns at the macro- 
level before turning to micro-level analysis. 
Consequently, the analytical process requires a multi- 
scalar circularity that might be considered "hermeneu- 
tic" (Hodder 1999). 

Formation Processes 

The analytical strategy discussed above would be 
incomplete without discussion of relevant site forma- 
tion processes. To some extent these will be specific to 
individual localities, but several general observations 
can be made. Natural formation processes are the best 
understood. The properties of the sediment matrix in 
which the cultural material is deposited is a major fac- 
tor complicating spatial relationships. The Maritime 
Archaic selection of sandy beaches raises problems 
because sand is an unstable surface subject to defla- 
tion and redeposition. Such instability may result in 
considerable vertical movement, possibly size-sorting 
of artifacts, and the destruction of certain features. 
Stable gravel surfaces may present fewer problems, 
but on cobble beaches there may be a pronounced 
trickle-down effect of smaller objects between the 
rocks. Horizontal movement related to occupation 
activity is more likely to "smear" distributions in sand 
deposits than in gravel or cobble sediments. Aeolian 
processes in sandy sediments may also displace arti- 
facts horizontally. Other natural formation processes 
of relevance to the study area include tree-falls and 
frost action, both of which may cause vertical and hor- 
izontal shifts in artifacts and obliterate features. 

As far as cultural formation processes are con- 
cerned, most ethnoarchaeological research has 
focused on the implications of site maintenance for 
generating different patterns of primary and secondary 
refuse accumulation. Maintenance behavior is expect- 
ed within dwellings, but the degree of implementation 
may vary with the length of occupation. Preventive 
maintenance (Binford 1 983:1 77) would involve period- 
ic clearing of primary refuse from dwelling floors and 
deposition of the waste outside or in less-used por- 



THEORY AND METHOD IN THE ANALYSIS OF SOCIAL SPACE 



43 



tions of the dwelling. This behavior may be recogniza- 
ble in dump formation and size-sorting of artifactual 
material (Binford 1983:177; O'Connell 1987). 
However, refuse disposal patterns may also be affect- 
ed by symbolic rules for the preferential deposition of 
certain items. At frequently re-occupied sites, such as 
the tombolo beaches used during the Early-Middle 
Maritime Archaic, there is a high likelihood of 
palimpsest deposits. Additionally, there might be 
repeated cannibalization of earlier dwelling structures 
for construction materials, although this might be dif- 
ficult to identify in ambiguous spatial distributions. 

Paleoeskimos: Axial Features and Bilateral 
Organization 

A large collection of papers in the journal Etudes/ 
Inuit/Studies (LeBlanc and Nagy 2003) provides a good 
overview of the range of variation in Paleoeskimo 
architecture. Paleoeskimo dwellings consisted of four 
principle types: (1) tent structures, often associated 
with central hearths, which occur in both Early and Late 
Paleoeskimo contexts, (2) semi-subterranean houses, 
found only in Dorset, (3) longhouses, also found only 
in Dorset (although Susan Rowley mentions a three- 
roomed "longhouse-like" Pre-Dorset feature^ cited in 
Ramsden and Murray 1995:106; also Rowley and 
Rowley 1997:274), and 4) snowhouses, for which 
archaeological traces are absent or enigmatic. The 
present discussion is oriented primarily towards tent 
structures, since these are the focus of the analyses to 
follow, but semi-subterranean features are mentioned 
to the extent that they display features in common 
with the tent dwellings. Longhouses were discussed 
previously in the Maritime Archaic section. 

Early Paleoeskimo tent dwellings display a variety 
of morphological characteristics. They may be 
ephemeral, consisting of little more than a cluster of 
rocks and associated lithics and bone, but in other 
cases they are more distinct features consisting of a 
box-hearth with or without a surrounding tent ring. 
The most discussed dwelling form is the mid-passage 



or axial feature, which is best known from the High 
Arctic, Greenland, Labrador and Ungava. These fea- 
tures consist of a central box-hearth, sometimes 
packed with cooking/heating stones, from which dou- 
ble lines of rock dividers extend outwards to separate 
a structure into two halves. They may or may not 
include an encompassing tent ring (e.g.. Figure 1 5a). 
In Greenland there are also finds of what have been 
termed "platform dwellings," consisting of box-hearths 
associated with rock pavements (Olsen 1 998). These 
structural variations have been treated largely in terms 
of seasonal differences, with some researchers arguing 
that the more substantial features with hearths and 
tent rings represent winter dwellings while the more 
ephemeral features indicate summer dwellings or win- 
ter snowhouses (Cox 1978:98; Maxwell 1985:98; cf., 
Savelle 1984). Analyzing Pre-Dorset structures from 
Prince of Wales Island, Ramsden and Murray (1995) 
suggested that faunal associations imply the opposite 
inference: substantial features were used during the 
summer while ephemeral features represent winter 
dwellings. Knuth (1 967:43) concluded from his work in 
northern Greenland that it was impossible to distin- 
guish summer/winter dwellings; the housing tradition 
was by nature insubstantial and highly transportable. 
A recent integration of Knuth's data underlines the dif- 
ficulties of seasonal interpretation (Gronnow and 
Jensen 2003:337). 

Less attention has been paid to Dorset tent 
dwellings. In some cases these also incorporate an 
axial feature principle, sometimes with slab pavements 
and soapstone vessel support rocks, and they may or 
may not be encompassed by tent rings (e.g., R.Jordan 
1980:611; Lemoine et al. 2003; Sutherland 2003; 
Chapter 9 in this volume). Such features were presum- 
ably used from spring to fall. 

Detailed studies of the spatial patterning associat- 
ed with Paleoeskimo structures have been limited. 
Researchers often publish floor plans of structures 
with their associated artifacts, but these are generally 
presented as site documentation, with little attention 



44 



CHAPTER 3 




15/ Early Paleoeskimo axial features, (a) Peary Land, North Greenland (after Knuth 1967 plate 7; reproduced by permission 
of EHESS/CNRS), (b) bilateral model analytical subdivisions. 



to behavioral or social analysis. The first attempt to 
address spatial analysis problems was that of Dekin 
(1976), who used simple quantitative methods in what 
he termed "elliptical analysis" to explore spatial pat- 
terning at the Pre-Dorset Closure site on south Baffin 
Island. Dekin addressed several questions: (1) the gen- 
eral nature of the locality (dwelling, outdoor), (2) the 
nature of the dwelling (tent, snow house, etc.), (3) the 
shape and configuration of the tent, (4) the entrance 
location, and (5) internal activity organization. These 
questions were constructed with the help of general 
ethnographic expectations and then presented as 
hypotheses to be tested. His method consisted of con- 
structing two ellipses around the distribution, one rep- 
resenting the hypothesized outer edge of a tent, the 
other a possible internal tent skirt. The ellipses were 
then divided into four quadrants that were used as 
analytical units for the exploration of internal activity 
variation. Dekin suggested the internal spatial pattern 
might indicate a division of labor by sex. He conclud- 
ed that the ellipse-quadrant principle, which began as 
an analytical technique, fit well enough with the Pre- 
Dorset data that it could be used as a general model 
for Pre-Dorset activity partitioning. 



Although valuable as a first attempt at explicit 
spatial analysis, the method is highly model depend- 
ent. The use of four quadrants as analytical units is 
rather coarse-grained, since each quadrant consists of 
a ca. 4 m^ block. Consequently, more subtle patterns 
on a smaller scale are overlooked and distributions 
that overlap quadrants risk analytical amputation. With 
these simple quantitative comparisons one would not 
expect to be able to "see" much variation other than 
that anticipated by the model. More fine-grained pat- 
tern recognition techniques might permit a fuller 
exploration of the spatial structure and they would be 
less model dependent. 

Besides Dekin's effort, perhaps the most explicit 
attempt to develop a methodology for the analysis of 
Paleoeskimo structures is that of Stapert and 
Johansen's (1996) application of "ring and sector" 
analysis and refitting to the early Dorset site 
Ikkarlussuup Tima in Disko Bay, Greenland. The site 
consisted of two tent rings and what was interpreted 
as a sod house. Ring and sector analysis was first 
developed for analysing hearth-centered distributions 
on European Upper Paleolithic sites. The technique 
plots histograms of item frequencies within concen- 



THEORY AND METHOD IN THE ANALYSIS OF SOCIAL SPACE 



45 



trie rings at various intervals (50 cm seemed optimal) 
extending out from hearth features. The method was 
linked explicitly with Binford's hearth-centered mod- 
els in that outdoor hearths were expected to produce 
unimodal ring distributions of debris reflective of 
gradual fall-off, while debris distributions associated 
with hearths inside dwellings would produce multi- 
modal distributions reflective of wall effects. The 
rings could also be divided into horizontal sectors to 
detect variations in object frequencies that might 
depart from the "wall effect" and thereby indicate 
dwelling entrances. While innovative, the technique 
tends to assume what it sets out to prove— it is very 
model dependent. Since it is based on quadrat 
counts, such coarse resolution may hamper critical 
evaluation of model expectations. Furthermore, 
inconsistencies between the ring and sector analysis 
and the refitting results in the study were down- 
played as an "optical illusion" resulting from the use 
of different data types (Stapert and Johansen 
1996:64-65). One might conclude, however, that 
refitting provided more robust results. 

Following on the heels of Dekin's analysis was 
McChee's (1979:52-55) discussion of the spatial 
organization of Independence I dwelling features at 
the Cold site on Devon Island. McChee divided these 
features into quadrants, with the central point on a 
hearth or presumed hearth area, thus creating 
front/back and left/right analytical units. Combining 
the artifactual material from several features at the 
site, he used a chi-square test to conclude that, over- 
all, there were no significant differences between 
front/back, but that there were significant differ- 
ences between left/right. He attributed the lateral dif- 
ferences to men's tool kits (right side: burins, burin 
spalls, hunting weapons) vs women's tool kits (left 
side: microblades, needles). McChee (1 979:255) 
extended this inference by suggesting that non- 
dwelling sites ("camps" and "work stations") which 
tend to have high percentages of possibly male tools 
may indicate primarily male activities. 



A serious methodological problem with McChee's 
analysis is that he lumped the material from several 
different dwelling features into a single contingency 
table in order to avoid small sample size problems. 
This procedure masks the scope of variation to the 
degree that the meaningfulness of the lumped sample 
must be questioned. Another problem is McChee's use 
of the same coarse quadrat technique as Dekin, which 
renders the analysis insensitive to finer-grained spatial 
patterning, some of which is clearly evident in the Cold 
site floor plans. Finally, the assumptions regarding 
gender specific tools are problematic, although they 
are useful for drawing out possible dimensions of 
social variation. 

Jensen's (1994, 1996) discussion of Paleoeskimo 
sites in the Skjoldungen District of southeast 
Creenland presented a spatial analysis of a Dorset 
locality that also considered site formation factors 
such as distinctions between primary and secondary 
refuse. Lithic raw materials proved to be particularly 
useful for the analysis, since each raw material type 
seemed to have its own depositional history Oensen 
1996:156). Different types of raw materials tended to 
be found on either side of the axial feature, which 
Jensen suggested may indicate a division of space by 
gender. Analysis of the circulation and deposition of 
lithic raw materials was developed further by 
Desrosiers and Rahmani (2003), who used the chame 
operatoire method to link lithic reduction sequences to 
spatial patterning at a Middle Dorset site in Nunavik, 
northern Quebec . 

A recent unpublished thesis by Mikalsen (2001) 
focused on spatial analysis of two Saqqaq sites from 
Disko Bay, west Creenland. One locality consisted of a 
single tent ring structure while the other contained five 
features: one distinct axial feature, a "platform" struc- 
ture, two hearths and a possible cache. The analysis 
employed two approaches: simple cross-tabulations 
were used to evaluate bilateral left/right, front/back 
patterning, while /c-means cluster analysis was used to 
search for other aspects of patterning. There was a 



46 



CHAPTER 3 



tendency for burins, points and knives to be deposited 
separately from microblades and scrapers, although 
the distinction was not strictly bilateral. This pattern 
was interpreted as indicating functional and possibly 
gender differences in the use of space. At one of the 
sites, flakes of chalcedony and crystal quartz seemed 
to have more restricted spatial distributions than the 
predominant killiaq. The cluster analyses seemed most 
useful for Identifying specific activity or depositional 
areas, while the cross-tabulations based on the bilater- 
al model revealed patterns in the raw material distribu- 
tion that were not so evident in the cluster analyses. 

While many researchers view the apparent bilater- 
al structure of Paleoeskimo axial feature dwellings as 
reflecting a division of labor and space by gender, oth- 
ers have suggested the dualism may indicate a parti- 
tioning of space between two co-residential families. 
This is unlikely for most Early Paleoeskimo structures. 
On the one hand, they seem too small for two families. 
On the other hand, two families arranged on opposite 
sides of a mid-passage should result in functionally 
redundant tool assemblages on each side, but in some 
cases there are functional differences in tools that 
depart from these expectations and seem more consis- 
tent with a gender interpretation (Jensen 1996). The 
co-residential family hypothesis seems more appropri- 
ate for Dorset; Harp (1 976:1 32) suggested that Dorset 
semi-subterranean dwellings housed joint household 
units. A Late Dorset structure at Okak-3 in Labrador 
was rather large (7-8 m by 6 m) and had an axial fea- 
ture with three hearths (Cox 1 978: 111); the large floor 
area and multiple hearths are suggestive of a joint 
household. Some Labrador Dorset tent rings are large 
(6 by 3.25 m) and bisected by a central rock alignment, 
leading R. Jordan (1980:612) to propose they were 
used by two families. It seems beyond doubt that Late 
Dorset longhouses were used by multiple households, 
although the precise nature of that use is unclear. 

The possible symbolic meanings of the axial fea- 
ture have also been considered. Knuth (1983:8-12) 
observed that Pearyland Independence I and 



Independence II axial features were oriented consis- 
tently towards water. He noted that the two halves of 
the dwelling structures bisected by an axial feature 
could be referred to by Creenlandic terms as: avangna, 
("the side on your right when you sit in the tent facing 
the water") and kujatd, the left side. A consistent con- 
ceptual division was implied, but the point was not 
developed further. Knuth simply suggested that: "The 
hearth passage of the Independence culture seems to 
be a kind of universal furniture unit serving as lamp, 
heating installation, cooking stove, kitchen cupboard, 
firewood box, and clothes chest" (Knuth 1983:12; 
Jensen [1 996:1 56] makes a similar observation). 

Plumet (1 989:323-324) developed the idea of the 
axial feature and bilateral symmetry as a central con- 
ceptual theme in Paleoeskimo dwelling organization 
for over 3000 years. He suggested a metaphor of the 
axial feature as the "backbone" of the dwelling, unit- 
ing a family group within individual structures. With a 
spatial transformation of the small tent axial principle 
into the central axis of the Dorset longhouse, a series 
of individual family floor areas were united into a band 
unit. Furthermore, Plumet drew a comparison with the 
depictions of bilateral symmetry in Dorset art, in which 
animal anatomy is often depicted in "x-ray" style in 
terms of a backbone with ribs extending outwards. 
Following Knuth (1967a:48, 1967b:199), Plumet com- 
pared the axial concept with the Sami fireplace and 
tent structure, and their symbolic associations. Thus, 
through the back door (so to speak), we come to the 
relevance of Yates' (1989) structuralist interpretation 
of the Sami tent as an analogy for the analysis of 
Paleoeskimo axial structures. 

Odgaard (2001:164, 2003:369-370) associated 
the axial feature with circumpolar shamanistic ideas of 
the hearth as a gateway to other worlds, such as 
mythological "clan rivers." She also suggested that 
hearths and axial features were physical markers that 
socialized the arctic landscape and served as conduits 
for cultural memory, symbolically relating human 
groups to the land. 



THEORY AND METHOD IN THE ANALYSIS OF SOCIAL SPACE 



47 



A final suggestion for possible symbolic meaning 
of the axial feature originated from a photograph 
shown at a 1999 Arctic archaeology meeting in 
Copenhagen. The photo, taken by Knud Rasmussen in 
southern Greenland, showed a child's play-model of a 
kayak made from rocks. There was a prominent central 
box made of flat slabs, representing the cockpit, while 
rocks extended outwards in opposite directions to 
indicate the bow and stern. The construction bore an 
interesting resemblance to an axial feature. 

Methodological Strategy for the Analysis of 
Paleoeskimo Spatial Patterns 

Most of the Paleoeskimo analyses undertaken 
herein will be conducted at the micro-scale level since 
the volume deals with probable tent dwellings rather 
than semi-subterranean houses or longhouses. 
Individual dwellings can probably be considered as 
behavioral modules, but if some structures contained 
joint families on opposite sides of an axial feature the 
opposed floor areas might be considered as individual 
behavioral modules. The kinds of patterns discussed 
on the multi-modular macro-scale for the Maritime 
Archaic longhouse— symmetry, repetition etc.— will 
thus be treated on the single module level for most of 
the Paleoeskimo structures. The discussion here will 
be somewhat briefer than for the Maritime Archaic, 
since some of the general observations made for that 
case apply here as well. 

The model-based analysis takes its point of depar- 
ture in a theme discussed repeatedly by researchers: 
bilateral organization centered on the hearth and axial 
feature. To what extent can patterns in tool types and 
raw materials on either side of and within the axial fea- 
ture be indicative of joint family composition, gender 
differences or symbolic organization? Two families 
inhabiting different sides of the same dwelling may 
produce redundant deposits of tool types on each side 
of an axial feature, at least insofar as they are engaged 
in similar productive and maintenance activities. 
Division of the bilateral dwelling space by gender may 



produce different and complementary distributions of 
tool types on either side of an axial feature. One might 
assume, following McGhee (1979) that tool types such 
as burins, burin spalls and hunting weapons could be 
associated with men's activities, while women's activi- 
ties could be represented by microblades and scrap- 
ers. Linkages of particular lithic tools with gender is, 
unfortunately, rather problematic (cf., Gero 1991), but 
the interpretation might be more robust if a consistent 
pattern was repeated across multiple dwelling struc- 
tures. Expectations for symbolic patterning are diffi- 
cult to specify in advance, except insofar as the previ- 
ously mentioned social and gender structuring of 
dwellings is embedded in the symbolic practices of 
daily life. One possibility is consistent bilateral pattern- 
ing in the deposition of lithic raw material types. While 
this might simply reflect the practicalities of position- 
ing reduction activities, repeated patterns of spatial 
contrasts in raw material types across many dwellings 
could be attributable to the symbolic meanings 
attached to different materials. 

Methodologically, the bilateral model can be 
explored using simple contingency tables. The analyt- 
ical units for dwelling space can be categorized as the 
axial feature and two lateral sides, or front and back 
zones (Figure 1 5b). An important limitation on such 
analyses is that tool frequencies are often so low that 
significance tests are impractical, thus conclusions 
remain impressionistic and highly vulnerable to sam- 
pling error. Reliance on the bilateral model limits inter- 
pretive scope, however, by locking us into precon- 
ceived analytical units. The broad spatial divisions 
used may not be sensitive to smaller scale patterns 
which may be significant for understanding behavioral 
and formational questions. Site plans often exhibit 
small clusters of tools and debitage that might repre- 
sent discrete depositional and behavioral processes. 
These clusters must be understood at the microscale 
level and then integrated into the modular analysis. 
Lithic clusters could be considered using the hearth- 
centered model, but the presence of an axial feature 



48 



CHAPTER 3 



may inhibit free rotation of bodies around the hearth, 
resulting in a distinctly bilateral distribution pattern 
rather than the expected arc-like distribution. Also, we 
sometimes assume that distinct hearths and axial fea- 
tures were used inside dwellings, but this need not 
have been the case where tent anchoring rocks are 
absent. Thus the inside-outside hearth question 
should be addressed in those cases where structural 
evidence is lacking. 

The behavioral-formationa! agenda requires differ- 
ent analytical tools than the bilateral model approach; 
pattern recognition techniques that are less dependent 
on preconceived analytical units. As was the case for 
the Maritime Archaic strategy, /(-means cluster analysis 
can be used as a model-independent pattern recogni- 
tion technique for tool distributions. Because it is not 
particularly constrained by sample size, the method 
seems fairly well suited for Paleoeskimo sites, which 
typically consist of relatively small numbers of tools 
spread over fairly compact areas. Clustering tech- 
niques will be employed to recognize micro-level item 
groupings that may be useful for identifying behavior 
such as discrete drop or dump zones. The contents of 
the resulting clusters can then be compared using con- 
tingency table analysis. Point-plotted tools and deb- 
itage will be used to consider distribution boundary 
questions related to the inside-outside hearth problem 
(i.e., the wall effect). Additionally, point-plotted deb- 
itage will be used directly to analyze spatial variation 
in lithic raw materials, as well as to identify the appro- 
priate quadrat groupings for contingency table analy- 
sis of raw materials. Where possible, tool refits can be 
used to point to behavioral connections within and 
outside of dwelling structures. The use of size-sorting 
to distinguish primary/secondary refuse is of minimal 
utility for Paleoeskimo material given the consistently 
small size of the tools and debitage. 

Formation Processes 

Most of the formation processes discussed for the 
Maritime Archaic are also relevant for Pre-Dorset. A 



slight contrast is the tendency for Pre-Dorset sites to 
be located on gravel beaches rather than sand. These 
more stable surfaces might be characterized by less 
horizontal smearing and less likelihood of palimpsest 
deposits caused by deflation and redeposition. 
Dwelling structure cannibalization and recycling of 
construction materials is to some extent recognizable 
from disturbance of the expected patterns of formal- 
ized box-hearths and axial features that are sometimes 
present on Pre-Dorset sites. 

Notes on the Quantitative Methods 

Given that a wide array of quantitative techniques is 
readily available for spatial analysis, a few words 
should be said regarding the choice of techniques 
used here. Besides the obvious requirement that the 
techniques should provide information on patterning 
relevant to the models being evaluated, the techniques 
must be appropriate to the data collection format. At 
the Maritime Archaic site Nukasusutok-5, much of the 
provenience data for two abundant tool classes, uti- 
lized flakes and bipolar cores, is limited to quadrat fre- 
quencies. This situation necessitates reliance on 
quadrat-based analytical methods. Another require- 
ment—partly self-imposed rather than conceptually 
grounded— was that the techniques should be method- 
ologically transparent and empirically rich. That is, 
they should be relatively simple mathematically and 
easy for most readers to grasp, involve minimal statis- 
tical transformation of the data and provide a descrip- 
tion of the patterning that would enhance the empiri- 
cal detail rather than cloak it with mathematical 
abstraction. The two main techniques used here meet 
these demands: /c-means cluster analysis and contin- 
gency table analysis. A third technique, multivariate 
correspondence analysis, is less easy to grasp mathe- 
matically, but as a data reduction technique it provides 
graphic output that can be useful for understanding 
the underlying dimensions of variation in complex 
data sets. A fourth technique involving a size-sorting 
index is more problematic and is used experimentally. 



THEORY AND METHOD IN THE ANALYSIS OF SOCIAL SPACE 



49 



/<-means cluster analysis (Kintigh and Ammerman 
1 982) is employed frequently for the analysis of point 
distributions. The technique uses measured distances 
(Euclidean) between item types to define circular clus- 
ters of cultural material. The clusters are formed by 
subdividing the total data set such that intra-cluster 
variance is minimized while inter-cluster distance is 
maximized using the sum squared error (SSE). Cluster 
centroids indicate the mean x and y values of the items 
assigned to the cluster. There is a degree of subjectiv- 
ity in determining how many clusters constitute the 
best statistical solution. Inflection points on graphic 
plots of the %SSE plotted against the number of clus- 
ters provide some "objective" indication of the number 
of clusters in the best solution. Ultimately, however, it 
is our understanding of site context, which is embed- 
ded in our model-related preconceptions, that screens 
the possible solutions and guides the final decision. An 
important shortcoming is that /c-means has the built-in 
requirement of circular clusters. Refuse distributions 
are, of course, rather more irregular in shape, but the 
technique appears to provide fairly robust results 
(Blankholm 1 991 :75). Since /(-means analysis does not 
include a statistical technique for comparing the con- 
tents of the clusters, this function is fulfilled by contin- 
gency tables. 

Correspondence analysis (Greenacre 1993) is a 
multivariate data reduction technique used for identi- 
fying patterning in categorical data, in this case the 
contents of site quadrats. It is based on a chi-square 
distance measure applied to a table of units (quadrats) 
and variables (tool types, flake raw materials, etc.) and 
can be regarded as: "...a method for decomposing the 
overall Chi-square statistic. ..by identifying a small 
number of dimensions in which the deviations from 
the expected values can be represented" (StatSoft Inc. 
2002). In practice this involves projection of perpendi- 
cular axes through the observed frequency profiles 
such that deviations from the expected profiles are 
expressed as geometric distances. Each axis accounts 
for a different part of the total variation. In a robust 



solution the first two axes should explain most of the 
variation. The most important output is a bivariate plot 
of units and variables in which their distances from the 
origin express their deviations from their expected 
profiles. Units positioned closely in the plot share sim- 
ilar relative frequencies of variables. But the physical 
distances between unit and variable points in the plots 
cannot be interpreted directly because of the way sta- 
tistical distances are computed; units can be compared 
with units and variables with variables, but their spac- 
ing relative to each other cannot be given a simple 
geometric reading. A general principle, however, is 
that each axis of the plot orders the points from one 
end to the other such that points at opposite ends of 
an axis display contrasting properties. Correspon- 
dence analysis is well-suited for quadrat-distributed 
data as long as item frequencies are sufficient relative 
to the number of units and variables, but only the 
Maritime Archaic site Nukasusutok-5 had a large 
enough sample and excavated area to justify applica- 
tion of the technique and then only to a limited degree. 

In many situations simple contingency table 
comparisons of grouped quadrats are sufficient to 
reveal important dimensions of spatial patterns. This 
is perhaps the simplest, most methodologically trans- 
parent and empirically descriptive analytical tech- 
nique in the existing arsenal. Its main drawback is 
that it requires cutting spatial distributions into cate- 
gories and assumptions must be made as to which 
categories are relevant or justifiable. In the analyses 
to follow, spatial categories are defined in terms of 
model-derived units, by model-independent /(-means 
clustering results and occasionally by visual assess- 
ment of the distributions. Where item frequencies 
warrant, the chi-square significance test is used to 
check for non-random relationships. Where item fre- 
quencies are so high that chi-square inevitably would 
produce a statistically significant result, as in the 
case of debitage frequencies from the Maritime 
Archaic site Nukasusutok-5, the test is omitted and 
the observed and expected frequencies are compared 



50 



CHAPTER 3 



Inuit fish camp at Comfort Cove, Snyder Bay. (Photo: W. Fitzhugh 1983) 



to identify which table cells deviate most from 
expected values. 

Given the role of size-sorting patterns in the site 
formation studies outlined above, Wandsnider 
(1 996:353-354) formulated a size-sorting index (SSI) 
that can be used to monitor spatial variations in object 
size. The SSI summarizes the representation of small 
and large items in a quadrat, with high negative values 
indicating a dominance of large items, high positive 
values a dominance of small items, and values near 
indicating a mixture of sizes. There are some obvious 
drawbacks to this index. First, the cut-off point for 
small versus large items is subjective. Second, the 
index does not make much sense for the Pre-Dorset 
lithic assemblages since they are composed almost 
entirely of rather small items. Even in assemblages 
with somewhat wider size-ranges a limited number of 
items in the large category can be overwhelmed by 
"noise" from an abundant small category. Third, the 



utility of the index may be limited by the total number 
of items used. Debitage assemblages might provide 
enough material for meaningful spatial comparisons, 
but in assemblages with few tools the index might be 
highly susceptible to random effects and it may be dif- 
ficult to compare widely distributed excavation units 
with low item frequencies. Given all these considera- 
tions, the index was only applied to the large quartz 
debitage assemblage from the Maritime Archaic site 
Nukasusutok-5. 

Conclusion: Behavioral Space and Signifying 
Practices 

IVlost of the discussion to be presented in other chap- 
ters of this volume is couched in terms of identifying 
the behavioral dimensions that might account for 
observed spatial patterns. Some of these behavioral 
dimensions involve the unintended consequences of 
body mechanics while others involve intentional 



THEORY AND METHOD IN THE ANALYSIS OF SOCIAL SPACE 



51 



actions related to site maintenance considerations. 
These are dimensions for which ethnoarchaeological 
middle-range theory building has provided a reason- 
ably robust interpretive framework. The approaches to 
the social dimensions of space that were outlined pre- 
viously mostly fit within the structuralist tradition in 
which pre-existing cultural schemas are construed as 
generating material culture patterns. This is a cultural 
constructionist position in which a frame of meaning is 
imposed on practice and on nature. Meaning is not 
strictly pre-programmed, however, it is activated 
through practice. Practice draws upon cognitive 
schemas but it also responds to precedent practices 
and the need for situational improvisation. Although 



constructionist approaches are useful counterpoints to 
myopic behaviorism they fail to capture the "work in 
progress" nature of social action as signifying practice 
(cf. Ingold 1 993: 1 62). The social structuration of space 
is an ongoing and always incomplete work and individ- 
ual components or sites are only partial sedimenta- 
tions of processes that stretch over variable scales of 
space and time. Spatial patterns therefore may be 
ambiguous with respect to both function and meaning. 
Nonetheless, it is hoped that the methodological 
strategies outlined above will help reduce ambiguity 
and lead to useful proposals regarding the behavioral 
and social dimensions of Maritime Archaic and 
Paleoeskimo dwelling space. 




52 



CHAPTER 3 



Nulcasusutok Island: 

Overview and SurvcucA Sites 



The first archaeological fieldwork undertaken on 
Nukasusutok Island was in 1928 when William Duncan 
Strong excavated Inuit communal houses at the site 
now designated as Nukasusutok-8 and collected from 
graves at several locations on the western end of the 
island, including Nukasusutok-7. J. Garth Taylor revis- 
ited Nukasusutok-8 during his 1966 field study of 
Labrador Inuit settlements (Taylor 1966). In 1 973, 
Warren Hofstra, associated with the Smithsonian 
Institution, conducted a brief survey of the island and 
recorded Nukasusutok-1 to 7 and Nukasusutok-9. 
William Fitzhugh's Smithsonian crew returned in 1975 
and 1976 to conduct further surveys, test 
Nukasusutok-5 and excavate the Late Pre-Dorset struc- 
tures at Nukasusutok-2. 

In 1979 and 1980 the author conducted several 
investigations on the island. The Maritime Archaic site 
Nukasusutok-5 was excavated in both years and the 
Dorset locality Nukasusutok-1 2 was excavated in 
1980. Surveys were carried out in both years in order 
to revisit previously recorded sites and identify new 
ones. Nukasusutok-9 (HcCh-1 1) was the only site that 
was not relocated. The area surveyed in 1979 was 
restricted to the central portion of the island between 
Nukasusutok 8 and 10, the eastern end of the island 
near Mount Pickle Harbour was surveyed in 1980. 
Additional excavations were conducted by the author 
at Nukasusutok-5 in 1992 and 1993 and Nukasusutok- 
8 was test-pitted in 1993. In 1997 contract surveys 
related to mineral exploration were undertaken by 



Gerald Penney (1997), who identified previously 
unrecorded features at Nukasusutok-7 on the south- 
west corner of the island. These features were revisit- 
ed by the author in 2004. 

Table 1 lists the archaeological sites that have 
been registered on Nukasusutok Island and their 
approximate locations are depicted in Figure 16. 
Precise point locations are withheld at the request of 
the provincial Culture Heritage Division. A total of 14 
sites has been recorded, of which eight components 
are attributable to the Maritime Archaic, five to the 
Labrador Inuit, two to Dorset and one to Late Pre- 
Dorset. This chapter provides brief descriptions of the 
minor surveyed sites, most of which are Maritime 
Archaic flake scatters. Four sites will be described in 
separate chapters: the excavated localities of 
Nukasusutok-5 (Maritime Archaic), Nukasusutok-1 2 
(Early/Middle Dorset), and W. D. Strong's and the 
author's activities at Nukasusutok-7 and 8. One signif- 
icant site will not be considered in detail: 
Nukasusutok-2. This important Late Pre-Dorset locality 
is described by Fitzhugh (2002), so only a brief sum- 
mary is provided as follows. 

Nukasusutok-1 (HcCh-4) 

This locality includes a small Maritime Archaic occupa- 
tion and two large Inuit fox traps. The Maritime 
Archaic component is located on a flat gravel ridge on 
the south side of a rock outcrop and has clear views to 
the northeast and southwest. To the north the topog- 



NUKASUSUTOK ISLAND: OVERVIEW AND SURVEYED SITES 



53 



Table 1. List of Archaeological Sites Registered on Nukasusutok Island. 





Borden No. 


Cu Itur6 


Sit6 Typ6 


Ni J k;i ^ii J jtok- 1 


HcCh-4 


M;iritimp Arrh;^ir" Iniiit 


lithir <ir;ittpr' fn y t"r;i n*; 


Nijk;^<iij<^iJtnk-?'^ 


HcCh-5 




y i,^ 1 fp;^t"M rp Hva/p 1 1 i nn 


Nijk^^i]^iitok-4 


HcCh-6 


M^irittmp Arrhpiir 

IViai ILIIII^ 1 \ 1 K.\ \\X\\^ 


lithir <ir;^ t"t"p r 


Nijki^<iij^iJtnk-S 


HcCh-7 


Maritime Archaic 


h;ihit;^tinn <iitp 


Ni]k;^<sij<;iJtnk-fi 


HcCh-8 


Mpiritimp Arrhptir 


lithir <^rpittp x 


Niik,^<iii<;iJtnk-7 


HcCi-8 


Inuit^oH hnii<ip 


tpnt rinn<; nr;^\/p^ 


Nuka.susutok.-8 


HcCh-1 


1 nu it 


rommiinpil <snH hnii^p^ nr-^vp^ 


Nijk?i*;ij<;iJtnk-Q 


HcCh-1 1 


Maritimp Arrhpiir^?^ 


lithir <^r;^ ttp r 


N II k;^ j^iijtnk- 1 


HcCh-1 2 


Mpiritimp Arrh^^ir 


lithir c;r;^ ttp r 


Nukasusutok-1 1 


HcCh-1 3 


Inuit 


tent rings 


Nukasusutok-1 2 


HcCh-14 


Early/Middle Dorset 


axial feature dwellings 


Nukasusutok-1 3 


HcCh-1 5 


Maritime Archaic 


lithic scatter 


Nukasusutok-1 4 


HcCh-16 


Maritime Archaic; Inuit 


lithic scatter; pinnacles 


Mount Pickle Harbour-1 


HcCh-1 7 


Early Dorset 


lithic scatter 



Nukasusutok-3 was combined with Nukasusutok-2 



raphy drops quite steeply down to the North Harbour 
while in all other directions the site is bordered by 
lower marshy areas. No elevation above sea level was 
taken, but according to the topographic map it must 
lie at roughly 65 m asl. The site was first reported in 
1973 by Hofstra, who surface collected a single 
ground slate flake. The cultural material observed in 
1979 was scattered sparsely across a deflated area 
about 8 m by 8 m in size. A biface blank of Ramah 
chert was surface collected. Flakes of quartz, Ramah 
chert, slate and black chert were noted on the surface. 

The lithic raw materials and high elevation sug- 
gest a Maritime Archaic Naksak Complex affiliation. 
The biface blank (Figure 1 7:c) is large (1 33 mm long), 
asymmetric in form, with partial flaking of the dorsal 
surface (mostly on the margins), and a largely unre- 
touched flat ventral surface with cortex. The unusually 
high elevation suggests the locality was probably used 
when the shoreline was lower, perhaps as low as 30 m 
asl., for which a date of ca. 6800 B.P. would be expect- 
ed, although an even later date is possible. 



The two Inuit fox traps are positioned on top of a 
rock outcrop. They are constructed of large rocks and 
boulders and contain sliding door openings. 

Nukasusutok-2 (HcCh-5) 

This important Late Pre-Dorset locality was visited by 
the Smithsonian Institution in 1975 and two axial fea- 
ture dwellings were excavated in 1 976 (Cox 1 978:1 01 ; 
Fitzhugh 1976:1 35). The site is located on a broad 
gravel beach at roughly 60-65 m asl., about 30 m 
northwest of the Maritime Archaic site Nukasusutok- 
10, which is situated higher up on the crest of the 
beach sequence. The material has recently been pub- 
lished by Fitzhugh (2002); the following site descrip- 
tion summarizes his report. 

The two axial feature dwellings lay virtually side- 
by-side, only 14 m apart. Both were oval, bi-lobed in 
form, with their axial features oriented towards the 
north (seaward). Most of the tent anchor rocks at 
Structure 1 had been removed and piled on top of the 
axial feature, but Structure 2 was intact, with a sur- 



54 



CHAPTER 4 




/ 7/ Tools from surveyed Maritime Archaic Sites on 
Nukasusutok Island, a: bipolar core, Nukasusutok-4: 
b: stemmed point, Nukasusutok-4: c: asymmetric biface 
blank, Nukasusutok-I , d: miniature celt, Nukasusutok-1 3, 
e: celt fragment, Nukasusutok-6: f: bipolar core, 
Nukasusutok-I 4. 

rounding ring of anclioring rocks (Figure 18). Both 
structures were ca. 4 m front-to-back along their axial 
features and ca. 5 m wide. In both cases the axial fea- 
tures consisted of three main components placed in a 
front-to-back sequence: (1) an enclosed box-hearth of 
vertical flat slabs containing "boiling stones," (2) a 
slab-lined hearth depression for heating the stones, 
and (3) a semi-open hearth bordered by inclined rock 
slabs and containing burned fat, interpreted as a 
lamp/cooking hearth. Both structures also had small 
wing pavements extending from one side of the axial 
feature at the rear of the dwelling. 



Small lithic assemblages were associated with 
each dwelling. Structure 1 had only 7 tools, all inside 
the structure. Structure 2 had 61 tools and 282 flakes, 
most of which were located outside the front of the 
dwelling. Those lithics deposited inside the structure 
were primarily associated with the axial feature and 
hearths; few were found in the lateral compartments. 
Tool types included: burins (ground and unground, 
some with waisted hafting constrictions), burin spalls, 
bifaces (two side-notched), an endscraper, microb- 
lades, microblade cores of crystal quartz, celts and uti- 
lized flakes. The most remarkable characteristic of the 
assemblage was the 10 celts associated with Structure 
2, an unusually large number for an outer coast Pre- 
Dorset site. 

The ground and waisted burin forms and side- 
notched bifaces are Late Pre-Dorset types. The axial 
feature dwellings are similar to the Independence II 
structures described by Knuth (1968). A single radio- 
carbon date run on burned fat procured from the 
hearth in Structure-1 was assayed at 331 5 ± 85 B.P., or 
3055 ± 85 B.P. with C-1 2/1 3 correction. 

Cox (1978:98) suggested the more substantial 
Pre-Dorset axial feature structures, such as those at 
Nukasusutok-2, may be fall or winter dwellings (cf., 
Ramsden and Murray 1 995). Fitzhugh (2002:1 53-1 55) 
concluded that Nukasusutok-2 might have been a win- 
ter settlement used from October to December, based 
on several characteristics of the site: (1) its unusually 
high elevation and great distance from the contempo- 
rary shoreline, (2) the solid and carefully planned con- 
struction of the dwellings as well as the presence of 
fire-cracked rock and burned fat, (3) the abundance of 
celts, presumably used for chopping firewood and 
frozen meat, and (4) the lack of lithics in the lateral 
compartments may indicate the presence of bedding. 
On the other hand, Fitzhugh (2002:1 55) also noted 
several features that might militate against a lengthy 
winter occupation: a small lithic assemblage indicative 
of minimal accumulation, a lack of storage caches, and 
predominantly outdoor lithic reduction activities. A 



NUKASUSUTOK ISLAND: OVERVIEW AND SURVEYED SITES 



55 




] 8/ Nukasusutok-2 Structure 



summary of Pre-Dorset settlement patterns empha- 
sized the general assumption that winter settlement 
was located in the inner bays or interior, in light of 
which Nukasusutok-2 is a singular anomaly (Fitzhugh 
2002:1 55-1 56). 

Nukasusutok-4 (HcCh-6) 

Recorded by Hofstra in 1973, this Maritime Archaic 
site was revisited in 1979. It is located at the western 
end of a long tombolo beach near the center of the 
island and is probably ca. 70 m asl., near the marine 
limit. Exceptional views may be had northeastwards 
down North Harbour and across Wyatt Harbour to the 
south. The eastern portion of the beach surface is 
extremely rocky while the western end is vegetated 
with crowberry, lichen and small groves of spruce 
trees. Several small gravel-cobble blow-outs in the cen- 
ter of the beach were probably the source of the tools 
collected by Hofstra: a large Ramah chert biface mid- 
section, a quartz biface tip, two quartz bipolar cores, 
five utilized flakes (two slate, three quartz) and one 



ground slate flake. The 1979 surface collection con- 
sisted of the basal fragment of a Ramah chert point 
with a relatively compact stem (Figure 1 7:b) which 
seems stylistically earlier than those from the 
Nukasusutok-5 components believed to date 5600- 
5300 B.P. (Chapter 8). 

A small test excavation of 7 m^ was placed in the 
central portion of the beach and a 1 m^ test pit was 
located 32 m to the south near the edge of the beach. 
The in situ deposits consisted of a thin (4-5 cm) man- 
tle of vegetation and humus underlain by an intermix- 
ture of cobbles and brown sand. A small charcoal sam- 
ple was procured in the central excavated area from a 
possible hearth associated with a faint red ocher stain, 
but the sample was insufficient for conventional radio- 
carbon dating. The only implements recovered from 
the excavated units were a Ramah chert biface frag- 
ment, a utilized flake of the same raw material and a 
quartz bipolar core (Figure 1 7:a). The small debitage 
collection, totalling 103 flakes, was composed of 
73.5% quartz, 19.6% Ramah chert and 6.9% "others" 



56 



CHAPTER 4 



(the latter including slate, gray quartzite and an 
igneous material). The paucity of cultural material indi- 
cates this site was a small temporary camp, with the 
wide separation of the surface scatters suggesting sev- 
eral discrete occupation loci. 

About 100 m east of the excavation was a low 
rock mound situated 20 m back from the northern ter- 
race edge. The mound lay on top of a sand-gravel 
beach and was oval, 3.50-3.75 m by 4.0-4.5 m in size 
and ca. 0.50 m high. It was bordered by seven large 
boulders and filled in with loosely packed 40-60 cm 
and larger boulders, heavily encrusted with black 
lichen. Since the feature resembled a Maritime Archaic 
burial mound it was photographed vertically with a 
bipod, after which the upper mantle of rocks was 
removed. This revealed a "box" formed by five very 
large boulders embedded in the beach with smaller 
rocks placed within. After additional bipod photogra- 
phy more rocks were removed from the box until 
sandy gravel was encountered and excavation contin- 
ued through silt and rocks, terminating at 1.25 m 
below the surface since no trace of cultural material 
was found. It is uncertain whether this was a cultural 
feature. 

Nukasusutok-6 (HcCh-8) 

Nukasusutok-6 was recorded by Hofstra in 1973 and 
was revisited in 1979. It is located on the western side 
of Wyatt Harbour at the opening of an east-west trend- 
ing pass and lies on a partially deflated raised beach at 
ca. 30 m asl., which can be maximum dated to ca. 6800 
B.P.. The topographic location of the site suggests the 
terrace was inhabited when the pass was a narrow 
marine passage that separated what is now a peninsu- 
la from the mainland. This constriction may have been 
a good spot for sealing or fishing, but the sparse cul- 
tural remains indicate the site was only used briefly. 

The cultural materials occurred in three small 
localities that extended along the terrace front for 
about 25 m. Each locality was a debitage scatter of 
6-8 m^ in size. Flake raw material data were collected 



at each locus by counting the items found within a 1 m 
diameter sampling circle at the center of each distribu- 
tion (Table 2). Quartz constituted 91-96% of the flakes 
sampled, slate 4-15%. Slate varieties present included 
green, red, mauve and gray-banded materials. Only one 
Ramah chert flake was observed, but being outside the 
sampling units it was not included in the table counts. 

Table 2. Nukasusutok-6 Flake Raw Materials 

L-1 L-2 L-3 N % 

N % N % N % TOTAL 

Quartz 71(95.9) 50(84.7) 6(92.4) 182(91.5) 

Slate 3 (4.1) 9(15.3) 5 (7.6) 17 (8.5) 

TOTAL 74 59 66 199 



Hofstra's 1973 surface collection included a celt frag- 
ment, two quartz utilized flakes and two quartz bipo- 
lar cores. The only tool was found in 1 979 was a badly 
weathered miniature celt bit made of yellow-green 
slate (Figure 1 7:e), which is comparable to those from 
the Maritime Archaic Naksak Complex. 

Nukasusutok-9 (HcCh-1 1) 

Nukasusutok-9 was registered by Hofstra in 1 973 but it 
was not possible to relocate it in 1979. According to 
the scanty site records it was located at the western end 
of the pass that separates the Wyatt Harbour Peninsula 
from the mainland. The only materials collected from 
the site were two utilized flakes of Ramah chert. 

Nukasusutok-10 (HcCh-12) 

Nukasusutok-l is a Maritime Archaic occupation 
located on a raised gravel-boulder beach on the east- 
ern arm of the island, ca. 75 m asl., near the marine 
limit. It is situated slightly above and about 30 m 
southeast of the Late Pre-Dorset structures at 
Nukasusutok-2. The best view from the locality is 
across the North Harbour. The site was discovered dur- 
ing the 1976 Smithsonian excavations at Nukasusutok- 



NUKASUSUTOK ISLAND: OVERVIEW AND SURVEYED SITES 



57 



2. A revisit in 1979 indicated that surface traces of 
Maritime Archaic activity were limited to two small con- 
centrations of quartz debitage and numerous large 
chunks of quartz scattered intermittently among the 
boulders along the crest of the beach. Few Ramah chert 
flakes were observed. A large vein of quartz, 18 m 
long, 1 m wide, was exposed on the side of the hill to 
the northeast. This, and the large quantity of shattered 
quartz, suggested that one of the functions of 
Nukasusutok-1 might have been as a quarry site. 
Smithsonian surface collections included a small oval 
quartz biface and two biface fragments of Ramah 
chert. No tools were found during thel979 visit. 
Fitzhugh (personal communication) suggested there 
might be a Maritime Archaic boulder structure at the 
crest of the raised beach, but observations in 1 979 and 
a brief visit in 1992 failed to identify any structural 
remains. The high elevation and the quartz-dominated 
lithic material suggest an early Naksak Complex affili- 
ation. 

Nukasusutok-1 1 (HcCh-13) 

This site consists of Inuit tent rings located at the tip 
of the peninsula that forms the western boundary of 
North Harbour. 

Nukasusutok-1 3 (HcCh-1 5) 

Nukasusutok-1 3 is a small Maritime Archaic site locat- 
ed on the south side of the island, ca. 1 km east of 
Wyatt Harbour, on a 65 m asl. raised beach that may 
have been a tombolo beach at the time of occupation. 
A good view of the sea is available to the south. 
Cultural materials consisted of a dense oval concentra- 
tion of quartz debitage ca. 3 m in diameter with other 
flakes scattered about more diffusely for a total 
exposed area of 20 m^. Two meters west of the quartz 
concentration was a 4 by 3 m oval alignment of cob- 
bles that may have been a structural feature. A 1 m^ 
test pit was excavated into a vegetated area adjacent 
to the quartz concentration, but only two quartz flakes 
were encountered. Two 1 m diameter circular sampling 



units were used to generate raw material counts for 
the lithic scatter. Table 3 shows that 96 % of the mate- 
rial was quartz and 3 % Ramah chert. Outside the sam- 
ple units two red quartzite flakes were also observed. 



Tables. Nukasusutok-1 3 
Flake Raw Material Frequencies 





L-1 


L-2 


TOTAL 




N % 


N % 


N % 


Quartz 


210 (96.3) 


14 (100.0) 


224 (96.6) 


Ramah Chert 


8 (3.7) 




8 (3.4) 


TOTAL 


218 


14 


232 



The only tool recovered from the site was a virtually 
complete miniature celt of green slate (Figure 1 7:d), 
which was found on the surface 2 m south of the test 
pit. The lateral edges of the implement are bifacially 
flaked and grinding is concentrated at the bit, 
although it also extends over three-quarters of the 
tool. This form is typical of the Naksak Complex. The 
high elevation of 65 m suggests the site is fairly early 
in the Maritime Archaic sequence, but the locality was 
probably occupied when sea level was substantially 
lower than the beach terrace. 

Nukasusutok-14 (HcCh-16) 

This small Maritime Archaic locality is situated on a 
bare gravel tombolo beach near the middle of the 
island, 1 km west of Mount Pickle Harbor. No precise 
elevation was taken, but the site probably lies at 30-35 
m asl. It consists of a 5 m diameter scatter of quartz 
debitage at the easternmost end of the raised beach. 
A Ramah chert bipolar core (Figure 1 7:f) and a slate 
flake were surface collected. No Ramah chert flakes 
were observed on the surface. 

Mount Pickle Harbour-1 (HcCh-17) 

The 1980 survey registered a Dorset site on a terrace 
overlooking the small harbour on the eastern end of 
Nukasusutok Island. A surface collection of 24 tools 
was procured. Four Ramah chert flakes and four 



58 



CHAPTER 4 




« A I f 



a b c d e 




19/ Dorset Tools from Mount Pickle Harbour- 1. a, b: 
triangular endblades; c: endblade on microblade; d, e: 
distally retouched microblades; f: ground schist; g-i: 
microblades. 

nephrite flakes (one ground) were also collected. The 
tool classes are described below. 

Tool Descriptions 

Triangular Endblades (n=3) All three triangular end- 
blades are made of Ramah chert. Two are proximal 
fragments. One of these, which may be unfinished, has 
a straight, bifacially-thinned base (Figure 19:a). The 
other is small (12.8 mm wide) with a straight-edged 
indentation at the base that produces small spurs at 
each corner (Figure 1 9:b). The third specimen is a bifa- 
cially flaked distal fragment; its plano-convex cross- 
section and width suggest it was made on a microb- 
lade (Figure 1 9:c). 

Tip-Fluting Spalls (n=4) All four tip-fluting spalls are 
made of Ramah chert. Two are complete or nearly com- 
plete, one is a proximal fragment, another a medial 
fragment. All are primary spall removals. 



Microblades (n=l 3) Twelve of the 13 microblades are 
made of Ramah chert, one is made of crystal quartz; 
examples are illustrated in Figure 1 9:g-i. Four are prox- 
imal fragments, five are medial fragments and three are 
distal elements. For the five specimens from which reli- 
able measurements can be obtained, width ranges from 
7.9-11.3 mm. Six specimens exhibit traces of utiliza- 
tion, while two are deliberately retouched. The 
retouched specimens are both distal fragments and 
both have been modified to create pointed tips. One 
example has one lateral edge retouched mostly on the 
dorsal side with less retouch ventrally, while the other 
lateral edge is mostly retouched ventrally (Figure 1 9:d). 
The other implement has slight ventral retouch on both 
edges, limited to the tip (Figure 19:e). It is unclear 
whether these are finished products or whether they 
were intended to be retouched points on microblades 
similar to Figure 1 9:c. 

Utilized Flakes (n=3) All three utilized flakes are made 
of Ramah chert. 

Ground Schist (n=l) A small bar of ground schist is 
illustrated in Figure 19:f. 

Discussion 

This small surface collection does not provide a solid 
basis for dating, but certain characteristics can be 
pointed out. The relatively straight-based endblades, 
together with the tip-fluting spalls, suggest an Early 
Dorset or early Middle Dorset date. The retouched 
point on a microblade (and possibly the distally 
retouched microblades) may also indicate a relatively 
early Dorset phase. 



NUKASUSUTOK ISLAND OVERVIEW AND SURVEYED SITES 



59 




20/ Nukasusutok-5 in its landscape. View to the west. 



60 



CHAPTER 5 



NulcasusutoL-^: 
Descriptive Overview 



Nukasusutok-5 (HcCh-7) was discovered in 1973 by 
Warren Hofstra (associated with the Smithsonian 
Institution). The site was test-pitted in 1 975 by William 
Fitzhugh (1 976:1 32-1 33, 1 978:77) and additional sur- 
face collections were made in 1976. These surveys 
indicated the site was large, extending for at least 1 00 
m along a tombolo beach, with rich deposits of tools, 
debitage and charcoal. A hard soil deposit observed in 
one of the test pits was initially thought to be fat-con- 
solidated sand (Fitzhugh 1978:66). Radiocarbon dates 
of 5575±90 B.P. and 4645±65 B.P. suggested the site 
pertained to the Middle Maritime Archaic period, 
although the spread of the dates implied the presence 
of more than one component. All of these factors indi- 
cated the site was a prime candidate for more intensive 
investigation, so the author undertook excavations 
there in 1 979 and 1 980 (Hood 1 981 ). During the early 
1980s, Fitzhugh built up a more detailed picture of 
Maritime Archaic dwelling structures. By the early 
1 990s, when the author began to re-evaluate his previ- 
ous work, it was evident that some of the conclusions 
regarding spatial patterning were faulty. 
Consequently, in 1992 and 1993 additional excava- 
tions were implemented in order to clarify the spatial 
patterning at the site. This report combines the results 
of all field seasons and supercedes all previous inter- 
pretations. 

Discussion of Nukasusutok-5 extends over five 
chapters. The primary function of this chapter is to 
provide a general background for the spatial analyses 



to follow. It begins with an overview of the site and its 
physical surroundings, moves on to an outline of the 
excavation layout and methods, then presents a 
description of the excavation results from the central 
subarea of the site, focusing on the features identified. 
Spatial patterning at the central subareas is discussed 
in Chapter 6, while description and analysis of the 
other subareas is found in Chapter 7. A description of 
the tool assemblages is provided in Chapter 8. Finally, 
Chapter 9 compares the subareas and draws general 
conclusions regarding the significance of 
Nukasusutok-5 for the study of the Early/Middle 
Maritime Archaic. 

The Site and its Environs 

Nukasusutok-5 is positioned in an extremely well-pro- 
tected location deep inside Wyatt Harbour (Figure 16). 
Situated on raised beach terraces 28-31 m asl. (Figure 
20), the site is surrounded by hills to the east, west 
and north that provide fair protection from the prevail- 
ing westerly wind, but northeasterly gales are liable to 
sweep the beach ridge since their force is only partial- 
ly deflected. The southwest side of the raised beach 
drops steeply down to Wyatt Harbour, while the north- 
east slope is of moderate gradient. A paleoshoreline 
projected along the lowest occupied elevation of 28 m 
produces a tombolo beach that would provide access 
to the sea from both sides of the site. This tombolo 
beach would have been an attractive settlement space 
with shorelines even lower than 28 m because its grad- 



NUKASUSUTOK 5 DESCRIPTIVE OVERVIEW 



61 



21/ Nukasusutok-5 main beach terrace. Area 1 in foreground, Area 2 in center. View to the north. 



ual northeast slope would continue to provide good 
boat landing possibilities. 

The beach upon which the main part of site is 
located is about 120 m long, trending northwest- 
southeast, and ranges from 30-40 m wide across its 
crest (Figures 21 and 22). The northwestern end ter- 
minates at the base of a 1 50 m high hill and the 
southeastern end is bordered by a lower knoll, the 
summit of which is perhaps 1 5-20 m higher than the 
beach surface. The central and southeastern portions 
of the beach are dominated by lichen vegetation 
while the northwestern end is endowed with thicker 
growth, including dwarf birch and dwarf spruce. 
Towards the central and western parts of the steep 
slope along the south side of the beach, moister con- 
ditions and a somewhat sheltered location in the lee 
of the beach ridge have facilitated the growth of fair- 
ly dense clusters of dwarf spruce and a number of 
full-sized spruce trees. On the crest of the raised 
beach (31 m asl.), several boulders are exposed on 
the central surface of the beach and a few tongues of 



bedrock are visible at the terrace edge. A small blow- 
out, covering about 50 m^, is located near the south- 
eastern end of the beach and is the only indication of 
serious erosion at the site. Otherwise, the deposits 
are undisturbed. 

A small vein of quartz runs along the face of the 
northern hill, not far from its summit. Brief inspection 
of this geological feature did not reveal any obvious 
signs of quarrying activity, but it is possible that 
some of the quartz used by the inhabitants of 
Nukasusutok-5 was procured here. Quartz outcrops 
are also found at other places on the island, notably 
beside Nukasustok-1 (Chapter 4). 

Archaeological Activities and Field Methods 

1975 Smithsonian Institution Survey A total of 37 arti- 
facts was surface collected during the Smithsonian sur- 
veys of 1973 and 1 975, most presumably originating 
in the blow-out at the southeastern end of the raised 
beach. Among these artifacts were: four bifacial 
points, three flake points, one micropoint, two bifaces, 



62 



CHAPTER 5 



three endscrapers, four flake knives, 25 utilized flakes 
and one bipolar core. 

Three 1 test pits were excavated during the 
1 975 survey. Test Pit A was situated in the central por- 
tion of the beach and came down directly on a hearth 
that lay in "greasy" black sand mixed with charcoal and 
red ocher. Recovered from the unit were a biface tip, 
bipolar cores, utilized flakes and 1 61 flakes of quartz, 
Ramah chert, slate and Mugford chert. A charcoal sam- 
ple from the hearth was dated to 5575±90 B.P. (Sl- 
2626). Test Pit B was located 19 m northwest of "A" 
and contained a quartz biface tip, utilized flakes and 
1 30 flakes of quartz, Ramah chert, slate, and Mugford 
chert. Black sand at the base of the deposits, 20 cm 
below ground surface, was interpreted as burned fat. 
Test Pit C was located 32 m northwest of "B" near the 
northwestern end of the beach. It contained a flake 
knife of Ramah chert and two utilized flakes, along 
with 5 unretouched flakes. The most remarkable fea- 
ture of this test unit was a cemented soil horizon 
encountered 23-30 cm below the surface, which con- 
tinued down to 55 cm where it terminated on sterile 
beach gravel. This horizon was interpreted as fat-con- 
solidated sand. The cemented zone contained charcoal 
and flakes only in its upper 5-7 cm. A charcoal sample 
from the cemented horizon was dated to 4645±65 B.P. 
(SI-2527). 

1979-80 Excavations The 1979 fieldwork addressed 
four main problems: (1) clarification of the divergent 
radiocarbon dates, (2) evaluating whether the 
cemented soil horizon was a cultural deposit of fat- 
consolidated sand, (3) the collection of intra-site 
activity patterning data, and (4) elucidation of the 
relationship between the Naksak, Sandy Cove and 
Rattlers Bight Complexes. A brief return to the site in 
1980 aimed to resolve questions generated by the 
previous year's fieldwork: (1) were there two habita- 
tion structures, (2) was there a second, later, compo- 
nent in the central portion of the site, and (3) were a 
set of red ocher feature burials? 



After the initial mapping procedures were com- 
pleted a grid was installed on the site using a baseline 
running the length of the tombolo beach. Over the two 
field seasons, three-person crews excavated a total of 
ca. 1 24 m^ in three separate subareas (Figure 22): the 
edge of the blow-out at the eastern end of the site 
(Area 1), the center of the beach (Area 2) and the 
south-facing beach slope (Area 3). An open-area exca- 
vation was conducted using 2 by 2 m fields subdivid- 
ed into 1 m^ quadrats as the basic working and 
recording units. In 1979, formal tools, utilized flakes 
and ground slate flakes were recorded in situ. Flake 
distribution patterns were recorded on floor plans by a 
combination of direct measurement and "eyeballing," 
and the debitage was collected by 1 m^ quadrats. The 
excavation proceeded using arbitrary vertical levels 
ranging from 5-1 5 cm. Vertical depths were taken from 
the ground surface by line level. Virtually all of the 
excavation back-dirt was sifted through a 6.4 mm (1/4 
inch) screen. In 1980 the excavation at Area 2 was 
extended, but because of poor weather conditions and 
limited time, debitage was not recorded in situ and 
very little back-dirt was screened. Fortunately, only a 
small area was excavated and the finds were much 
sparser than in the central part of Area 2. After these 
two field seasons it was concluded that: 1) Area 2 had 
evidence for two tent rings with external hearth areas, 
2) the red ocher features at Area 3 were unlikely to 
have been burials, and 3) the supposed fat-consolidat- 
ed sand was an extremely well developed iron pan 
(Hood 1981). 

/ 992-93 Excavations In 1 991 -92 a re-evaluation of the 
original data in light of accumulated information on 
Maritime Archaic dwelling structures indicated that the 
previous interpretation positing two tent rings was 
incorrect. Instead, it seemed possible that some kind 
of rectangular structure was present. A report from 
Fitzhugh's brief visit to the site in 1985 (Smithsonian 
site record files) speculated on the presence of a long- 
house structure running down the center of the beach. 



NUKASUSUTOK-5: DESCRIPTIVE OVERVIEW 



63 




22/ Nukasusutok-5 excavation layout. 



y//A///JV//^//Y'^A'^^y!(//^//A N 



I I Area2A 
^ Area 2B 
[v] Area2C 




25/ /^reo 2 subareas. 



44x70y 




Y/2l Vegetation/peat 
I I Gray leached sand 

Brown sand 



[ ■ ;| Dark brown mottled sand 
Wk\ Yellow sand 



24/ Area 2A soil profile. 



Consequently, the goal of the 
1992-93 fieldwork was to 
extend the original Area 2 exca- 
vation towards the northwest 
and southeast to evaluate the 
possibility that the spatial pat- 
terns reflected the presence of a 
longhouse. 

The field methods 
employed in 1992-93 were 
slightly different than those 
used in 1979-80. Debitage was 
collected in 50 cm^ quadrats 
and the vertical depths of all 
retouched artifacts, rocks and 
other features were determined 
with an engineer's level. As in 
1 979, the flake distribution pat- 
terns were recorded through a 
combination of direct measure- 
ment and "eyeballing" and all 
back-dirt was screened through 
6.4 mm mesh. In 1992 the 
excavation consisted of a rec- 
tangular field of 24 m^ (Area 
2B) which formed a northwest- 
ward extension of the original 
Area 2 excavation, while the 
1993 effort opened up 27 m^ 
(Area 2C) to the southeast of 
Area 2. In each year the work 
was accomplished by a two per- 
son crew. 

Descriptions of the fea- 
tures, pedology, formation 
processes and dating of Area 2 
are preconditions for making 
sense of the spatial patterns. 
Because the Area 2 spatial 
analysis in Chapter 6 is long 
and complex, the text is divided 



64 



CHAPTER 5 



into manageable units by using most of the present 
chapter to describe the archaeological context of Area 
2. Since the analyses of Areas 1 and 3 are more limit- 
ed in scope, these subareas are only mentioned briefly 
here for the sake of general orientation; details can be 
found in Chapter 7. 

Area 1 

Area 1 was defined as the central and eastern portions 
of the blow-out located at the southeastern end of the 
tombolo beach, ca. 31 m asl. (Figures 21 and 22). 
Clusters of rocks exposed in the blow-out suggested 
the presence of five or six hearths. In 1 979 a T-shaped 
excavation field totalling 16 m^ was positioned at the 
edge of the blow-out. Since the excavation did not pro- 
duce much in the way of tools or additional features, 
attention was shifted to the central part of the beach. 

Area 2 

Area 2 was positioned near the center of the tombolo 
beach, 25 m west of Area 1 and at a similar elevation 
of 31 m asl. (Figures 21 and 22). A total of ca. 1 24 m^ 
was excavated over four field seasons. The largest sin- 
gle excavation was in 1979, when ca. 54 m^, was 
opened. The 1979 work constitutes most of what is 
defined as Area 2A (Figure 23). In 1 980 an additional 
16.5 m^ was excavated southwards; this includes the 
northern portion of Area 2C. In 1992, 26 m^ was 
excavated north of the original excavation; this sub- 
area is referred to as Area 2B. The 1 993 excavation of 
27 m^ expanded south of the 1980 limit, extending 
subarea 2C. 

The results of the 1992-1993 fieldwork revealed 
that these two extensions differed from the central 
area excavated in 1 979-1 980 in that both Areas 2B and 
2C exhibited thinner deposits, fewer features, and less 
artifactual material. Additionally, Area 2B contained 
deposits of fire-cracked rock quite unlike anything in 
Areas 2A and 2C. Furthermore, the radiocarbon dates 
(see below) indicated chronological differences; Area 
2A ca. 5300-5700 B.P. and Areas 2B and 2C both ca. 



6000 B.P.. It was apparent that different settlement 
phases were represented at Area 2, not a continuous 
longhouse structure. 

Stratigraphy 

A representative soil profile for Area 2A is shown in 
Figure 24. In the central portion of the excavation the 
vegetation and humus zone (Ifh horizon) ranged from 
about 3 to 1 2 cm in thickness with its deepest deposits 
found above sub-surface depressions. The base of this 
horizon was generally a thin layer of greasy black 
humified peat. Cultural material was found occasional- 
ly among the roots of the undecomposed vegetation 
but was more frequent in the humified peat. A thin, 
discontinuous leaching zone (Ae horizon) was found in 
most of the excavated units. This gray sand layer was 
thickest and most prominent above sub-surface 
depressions and it contained moderate quantities of 
cultural material. Next in the profile was a dark brown 
sand, which contained most of the cultural material. Its 
distinct dark coloring is mostly the result of humic acid 
and sesquioxide translocation downwards from the 
leached horizon. The depth of this deposit varied con- 
siderably. It was quite thin near the northwestern end 
of Area 2A (79y line), ranging from 4-8 cm thick, but 
at the southeastern end, in the vicinity of several 
hearths (44x 70-73y), it ranged from 20-25 cm thick. 
Among the boulders along the northern periphery of 
the excavation the dark brown sand graded into a very 
black sand, which overlay the basal beach deposit. 
Beneath the dark brown sand was a layer of culturally 
sterile yellow sand that graded into a surface of round- 
ed beach cobbles and gravel. This sterile horizon com- 
menced 8 cm below surface level at the northwestern 
end of Area 2A, 14-16 cm below the surface at the 
eastern end, and 25-30 cm below the surface in one of 
the hearth areas (44x70-73y). In sum, the initial 
Maritime Archaic occupation at Area 2A probably 
occurred on a sand layer overlying a gravel-cobble sur- 
face. Areas 2B and 2C exhibited thinner sand deposits 
and markedly less development of a dark B horizon. 



NUKASUSUTOK-5. DESCRIPTIVE OVERVIEW 



65 




During the 1979 excavation at Area 2A there 
seemed to be a predominantly sterile layer (9-14 cm 
below surface) between two different cultural levels 
near 46x69y. The upper level tended to have a higher 
frequency of Ramah chert flakes. In the first analysis of 
the site, several upper levels of adjacent excavation 
units for which a later component seemed possible 
were separated analytically and termed "Occupation 2." 
At the time, the grounds for this distinction were 
ambiguous and the present re-analysis does not clari- 
fy the matter. A later component cannot be ruled out, 
but the apparent superposition could also be the result 
of wind redeposition. In the spatial analysis (Chapter 6) 
the debitage patterning in this area is interpreted 
as being derived primarily from the 5300-5700 B.P. 
occupation. 

Features 

Four classes of features were identified at Area 2: rock 
constructed surface hearths, pit-hearths, irregular 
depressions and fire-cracked rock concentrations. 
There was also a large flat boulder in the middle of 
Area 2A which, despite being a natural feature, seems 
significant for the spatial organization of the site and 



thus worthy of brief consideration here. The three sub- 
areas are treated separately; each feature is described 
along with its relevant contextual information. Feature 
locations and configurations can be found in Figure 
25, while Figure 26 shows a vertical bipod photo of 
part of Area 2A. 

Area 2A 

The Area 2A features occurred in two groups. At the 
northern end of the subarea were hearths 1 , 2, 6, 7, 8 
and possible hearths 18 and 19, along with depres- 
sions 1 to 3. Towards the south were hearths 3a, 3b, 
4, 5 and possible hearth 16. In the middle was the 
large boulder. These feature groups will be described 
from north to south. 

Hearth 1 (Figure 27) was situated 25 cm north of 
the central boulder and was composed of eight round- 
ed and flat cobbles and a large, slightly inclined, flat 
slab. Faint traces of red ocher and a small amount of 
charcoal were found among the rocks. 

Hearth 2 was located at the north end of 
Smithsonian Test Pit A. It consisted of a 75 cm wide 
flower petal-like arrangement of large and small flat 
slabs. This feature had been exposed to the wind since 



66 



CHAPTER 5 




26/ Area 2A bipod photo. 




27/ Area 2 A hearth- 1. 

1 975, so if any charcoal or red ocher had been pres- 
ent, it was gone by 1 979. Adjacent to the hearth were 
an unstemmed flake point of Ramah chert, a Ramah 
chert biface preform, a stemmed flake of Ramah chert, 
two biface fragments of Ramah chert, a flake knife of 
black chert and a schist tablet. 

Hearth 6 was 75 cm in diameter and consisted of 
a 1 5 cm deep pit surrounded on three sides by four 
large rocks, with a small flat slab wedged between two 
of the rocks on the southern edge of the pit. The pit 
was stained with red ocher and filled with a great deal 



of charcoal. A crude flake point 
of Ramah chert, a utilized flake 
of Ramah chert and large num- 
bers of Ramah chert, quartz and 
slate flakes were contained 
within the pit fill. Nearby the 
feature were a flake knife of 
Ramah chert and a schist tablet. 

Hearth 7 was positioned in 
the southwest corner of 
Smithsonian Test Pit A. 
According to their field notes, 
the hearth was 50-75 cm in 
diameter and was composed of 
numerous small flat slabs and a 
single inclined flat slab, accom- 
panied by red ocher and char- 
coal fill. A Ramah chert biface 
fragment, two utilized Ramah 
chert flakes and a Ramah chert 
bipolar core were found in 
direct association. Charcoal 
from this hearth was radiocar- 
bon dated to 5575±90 B.P. (Sl- 
2526). 

Hearth 8 was the eastern- 
most component of what was 
interpreted as a series of three 
interlocking pits. The pits were 
first identified as shallow 
depressions filled with humified peat that stood out 
clearly from the surrounding dark brown sand matrix. 
The hearth was a pit, 85 cm long, 35 cm wide, 25 cm 
deep, with a roughly bowl-shaped cross-section. 
Several small cobbles were positioned along the rim of 
the pit and a large rock lay at its base near the south- 
western end. The pit fill of dark brown sand was virtu- 
ally indistinguishable from the surrounding matrix 
except for red ocher and a large amount of charcoal. 
Charcoal from the hearth was dated 5305±175 B.P. 
(UGa-3160). Artifacts found within the pit included a 



NUKASUSUTOK-5: DESCRIPTIVE OVERVIEW 



67 



fragment of a ground slate tool, a Ramah chert micro- 
point, a slate point tip and a Ramah chert utilized 
flake. The hearth basin also contained a large number 
of small Ramah chert retouch flakes. 

Depressions 1 and 2 formed a linear series with 
Hearth 8, but it was difficult to define precisely their 
boundaries and thus specify the temporal relationship 
of the features by cross-cutting. Depression 1 was 50 
cm in width, roughly 1 cm deep and was bordered by, 
and contained, several small cobbles. It did not contain 
charcoal or red ocher. Artifacts found within the pit 
were a utilized flake of Ramah chert and a ground slate 
flake. Depression 2 was approximately 1 m long, 75 
cm wide, about 10 cm deep, with an irregular bi-lobed 
shape. No charcoal or red ocher was present. Artifacts 
from the feature included a black chert endscraper and 
part of an asymmetric biface of Ramah chert, which 
joined with another fragment found just outside the 
pit. The irregular nature of these depressions as well 
as their lack of charcoal and red ocher suggests they 
were of natural origin, perhaps related to wind defla- 
tion or tree-throw disturbance. 

Near the western edge of the excavation was 
depression 3, a shallow irregular feature, 1.4 m long, 
90 cm wide and 7 cm deep. It contained several cob- 
bles, a few flecks of charcoal, but no red ocher. A small 
number of flakes (30-40) were found within its bound- 
aries and two small bipolar cores were located nearby. 
Given its amorphous shape and relative lack of char- 
coal and lithic material this feature is most likely a ves- 
tige of deflation or tree-throw activity. 

During re-analysis of the site two features were 
identified as possible hearths. Near the northwestern 
edge of Area 2A was a circular cluster of rocks, ca. 60 
cm in diameter, which included a flat slab but lacked 
charcoal. This feature was designated as possible 
hearth 1 8. Just north of depressions 1 and 2 was a 35 
cm by 25 cm oval stain of red ocher mixed with flecks 
of charcoal. Cross-sectioning indicated the feature 
was bowl-shaped and 6 cm deep. It contained only a 
few flakes. Given vague similarities with the central pit 



identified in Area 2B, the feature was designated pos- 
sible hearth 1 9. 

The boulder at the center of Area 2A was a large 
flat-topped rock, 1 .25 m long, 75 cm wide and 50 cm 
high. As discussed in the spatial analysis (Chapter 6), 
this natural feature seems to have served as a central 
fulcrum in structuring the arrangement of two possible 
dwelling modules on the beach. Its surface was 
inspected carefully for signs of cultural modification, 
but none were identified. 

Hearths 3a and 3b were probably two separate 
features, but since their degree of interlocking was 
unclear in the field they were designated as compo- 
nents 3a and 3b of a single feature. Hearth 3a was a 
pit, 0.5 m in diameter, capped on its surface with sev- 
eral cobbles and excavated to a depth of 7 cm to the 
top of the sterile yellow sand. Charcoal was found at 
the base of the pit and three small red ocher stains 
ringed the periphery of the pit bottom. Also at the base 
of the pit were three artifacts: a black chert end- 
scraper, a side-notched biface of Ramah chert and a 
utilized flake of Ramah chert. The surface of hearth 3b, 
which measured 0.75 m in diameter, was a rough 
semi-circle of rocks that surrounded a 1 cm deep 
charcoal-filled pit. Several cobbles and flat slabs 
capped the pit surface and a stain of red ocher was 
present on the northern edge. At the surface of the 
feature were a biface preform of Ramah chert, a bipo- 
lar core of Ramah chert, an endscraper of black chert 
and a schist tablet. 

Hearth 4 was ca. 75 cm in diameter and consist- 
ed of an oval ring of cobbles surrounding a thin scat- 
ter of charcoal. No pit was apparent and no red ocher 
was found within or adjacent to the feature. Artifacts 
in proximity to the feature included a biface tip of 
Ramah chert, a quartz block core, a Ramah chert uti- 
lized flake and a ground slate flake. 

Hearth 5 (Figure 28) was marked by an oval 
alignment of cobbles and consisted of an oval pit 40 
cm in diameter and 1 5 cm deep. The pit contained a 
large quantity of charcoal as well as red ocher, which 



68 



CHAPTER 5 




28/ Area 2A hearth-5. 




29/ Area 2B under excavation. Fire-cracked rocl< concentrations in foreground and on 
northern edge of excavation. 



was more granular than the powdery textured mate- 
rial found in the other features. A single rounded 
cobble was placed at the base of the pit. Charcoal 
from the feature was dated 5670 ±175 B.P. 
(UCa-3 1 61 ). Only one artifact was found in the vicini- 
ty of the hearth: a utilized flake of Ramah chert. 

Depression 4 lay south of hearth 4 and was an 
irregular arc roughly 2 m long, ranging between 20- 
60 cm wide and several centimeters deep. Although it 
contained some rocks there were relatively few 



flakes. Its irregular form and 
lack of cultural material sug- 
gests it may have been of natu- 
ral rather than cultural origin. 
Depression 5, adjacent to 
hearth 5, was 60 by 40 cm in 
size and contained small rocks 
and a considerable quantity of 
Ramah chert flakes along one 
edge. Although a cultural ori- 
gin cannot be ruled out, its 
position in the upper portion of 
the sediment and its similarity 
to depression 4 suggest a nat- 
ural disturbance. 

During re-analysis of the 
site, a possible hearth (no. 16) 
was inferred from a rock feature 
1 m northeast of hearth 4. This 
feature, 80 by 50 cm in extent, 
consisted of a petal-like 
arrangement of four flat slabs 
along with several other rocks, 
but no charcoal association was 
reported. 



Area 2B 

Fire-cracked rock concentra- 
tions were the most distinctive 
characteristic of Area 2B, cover- 
ing almost 35% of the excava- 
tion surface (Figures 25 and 29). The rock occurred in 
thin (<5 cm) "carpets," the most extensive of which 
occurred along the northwestern edge of the excava- 
tion (83-84y), 1 .8 m northwest of the central pit fea- 
ture and 1 .2 m southeast of the pit (77-79y units). The 
configuration of these carpets strongly suggests they 
extend into the unexcavated areas beyond Area 2B. 
Two smaller concentrations lay immediately adjacent 
to the western and eastern sides of the central pit. The 
concentration to the east partly superimposed the 



NUKASUSUTOK-5: DESCRIPTIVE OVERVIEW 



69 




30/ Area 2C overview looking North. Area 2A in background. 




3]/ Area 2C heanh-9. 

edge of the feature, so it must post-date the infilling 
of the pit. 

In the center of Area 2B was a large pit. The 
boundaries of this feature were difficult to discern 
within the dark and, at the time of excavation, water- 
soaked soil matrix. It consisted of an oval basin, 1 .25 
m long, 0.90 m wide and 5 cm deep. A few small flat 
rock slabs were found in its northwestern section and 
a small cluster of rocks lay in its southeastern portion. 
Red ocher stains were present on the western edge and 
within the feature. Tiny charcoal flecks were found 



throughout the pit, but were 
mostly concentrated on the 
western side. A total of 46 tiny 
burned bone fragments were 
also present in the northwest- 
ern portion of the feature. 
Flakes of quartz, Ramah chert, 
Mugford chert and slate were 
found within the basin. Artifacts 
found within or adjacent to the 
pit included a quartz block core, 
utilized flakes and ground slate 
flakes. Charcoal from the pit 
returned a radiocarbon date of 
6100±120 B.P. (Beta-581 73). 

Hearth 1 1 was positioned 
60-80 cm west of the central 
pit. It consisted of a cluster of 
rocks associated with small 
patches of charcoal; some 
flecks of red ocher were present 
a short distance from the fea- 
ture. The dispersed nature of 
the rocks suggested the feature 
was disturbed. Charcoal from 
the hearth area was dated 
6040±90 B.P. (Beta-57124). A 
concentration of black chert 
flakes lay 25 cm southwest of 
the feature's largest component 
rock. Nearby artifacts included a quartz block core, 
utilized flakes, a bifacial point base of quartz, a biface 
fragment of Ramah chert and ground slate flakes. 

Both the radiocarbon dates and the behavioral 
patterning suggest that Area 2B represents an occupa- 
tion phase separate from Area 2A. Nonetheless, an 
important point to consider is the degree of overlap 
between the southwestern edge of Area 2B and the 
Area 2A occupation, since a tongue of fire-cracked 
rock extends over the 50x line into Area 2A. This issue 
will be considered in more detail in Chapter 6, but suf- 



70 



CHAPTER 5 



32/ Area 2C hearth- 1 2. 



fice it to say that while there is 
a high likelihood of a 
palimpsest deposit in the 49- 
50x area, there are reasonable 
grounds to use the 50x line as a 
practical boundary between the 
two occupations. 

Area 2C 

As will be established in 
Chapter 6, south of the south- 
ernmost hearths at Area 2A 
there was a radical decrease in 
the density of lithic material 
that continued until a concen- 
tration of lithics was encountered in the southeastern 
corner of Area 2C. This pattern, along with a radiocar- 
bon date, suggests that Area 2C is an occupation 
phase separate from Area 2A. Six hearth features were 
present at Area 2C and these will be described in 
sequence from north to south (Figures 25 and 30). 

Hearth 9 (Figure 31) stood out as the most unique 
and well constructed (or perhaps best preserved) hearth 
feature at the site. It was roughly circular, 1.0 m in 
diameter, consisting of an interior floor with several flat 
stones that was surrounded on three sides by flat slabs, 
the tops of which were inclined inwards towards the 
center of the feature. These inclined slabs were backed 
by cobbles. The placement of the rocks suggests the 
inclined flat slabs may have been wedged upright to 
form a three-sided hearth box open to the north. Very 
little charcoal was found within the feature, but a thick 
stain was situated just east of its open side. This char- 
coal deposit may have resulted from intentional 
removal of the hearth contents. The vicinity of hearth 9 
was virtually devoid of tools and debitage. A utilized 
flake of black chert was found in the hearth interior and 
a large schist tablet lay to the east of the feature. 

The feature designated hearth 1 had two compo- 
nents. On the east side was a small pit, 40 cm in diam- 
eter, 1 5 cm deep, the base of which contained a small 




pocket of charcoal beneath a flat cobble. It was similar 
in form to hearth 5. No cultural materials were associ- 
ated with this feature. Ca. 60 cm to the west was an 
elongated pit, 1 .2 m long, 40 cm wide and 1 5 cm deep; 
a large rock was positioned at its northwestern end 
and a couple of smaller rocks were present in the 
southeastern end. The pit fill contained small pieces of 
charcoal, two small spots of red ocher and a utilized 
flake of Ramah chert. Charcoal from this feature was 
dated 6050±80 B.P. (Beta-71 475). 

Hearth 12 (Figure 32) consisted of a slightly dis- 
persed group of rocks, including two large flat slabs 
and several smaller fire-cracked rocks. Associated with 
the feature was a small concentration of burned bone 
fragments (n=294) and some very sparse charcoal 
flecks. Roughly 80 cm to the east of the cluster were 
several small clumps of red ocher. 

Hearth 1 3 should be treated as rather question- 
able, consisting of little more than a cluster of six 
rocks. Yet its association with a few flakes and its 
placement relative to the other features strongly sug- 
gested a hearth function. 

Hearth 14 was composed of an arc-shaped mid- 
den-like deposit between, and extending out from, 
two large rocks. This unusual deposit was 1 .3 m long 
and 0.6 m wide and consisted of "greasy" red-brown 



NUKA5USUTOK-5: DESCRIPTIVE OVERVIEW 



71 



mottled sand (the reddish coloration caused by a 
combination of iron translocation through the soil, 
fire oxidation, and red ocher stains). The deposit con- 
tained faint charcoal flecks, small pockets of burned 
bone (n=651), and small particles of red ocher. 
Several small fire-cracked rocks were also present, 
slightly to the east of the feature. A large quantity of 
flakes was associated with hearth 14. Burned Ramah 
chert flakes were particularly frequent between and 
immediately adjacent to the two rocks at the center 
of the feature. A charcoal sample from the feature 
was dated 1 570±80 B.P. (Beta-71 474). About 1 .0-1 .2 
m north of hearth 1 4 was an outlier patch of charcoal, 
70 cm by 1 5-20 cm in size, adjacent to a small clus- 
ter of rocks. It was unclear whether this was related 
to hearth 14 or whether it represented an earlier, 
disturbed feature. 



Hearth 1 5 was partly exposed at the southern 
limit of the excavation, 1 m southeast of hearth 1 4. In 
a cleft between two rocks was a red ocher and charcoal 
smear on top of a small flat slab. A small cluster of fire- 
cracked rocks lay immediately adjacent to the north- 
east. A few other nearby rocks may have belonged to 
the feature. Within the hearth were quartz and Ramah 
chert flakes, while several quartz block cores, utilized 
flakes and ground slate flakes lay nearby. 

Summary: Area 2 Chronology and 
Feature Variation 

Chronology Table 4 lists the seven radiocarbon dates 
from Area 2 and one from Test Pit C at the extreme 
northwestern end of the same beach level. The date of 
1 570±80 B.P. from hearth 14 at Area 2C is problemat- 
ic. It should probably be rejected because it seems too 



Table 4: Radiocarbon Dates from Nukasusutok-5: Area 2 and Main Beach 
Calibrated with OxCal 3.10 (Bronk-Ramsey 2005) 



Feature 


Date B.P. 


Calibrated BC 


Lab No. 


Material 


Comment 


TP-A/hearth 7 (2A) 


5575±90 


4500-4330 


SI-2526 


unidentified 
charcoal 




Hearth 5 (2A) 


5670±1 75 


4710-4340 


UGa-3161 


unidentified 
charcoal 




Hearth 8 (2A) 


5305±1 75 


4330-3960 


UCa-3160 


unidentified 
charcoal 




Hearth 1 1 (28) 


6040±90 


5060-4790 


Beta-571 24 


unidentified 
charcoal 




Pit (2B) 


6100±120 


5210-4850 


Beta-581 73 


unidentified 
charcoal 




Hearth 10 (2C) 


6050±80 


5060-4830 


Beta-71 475 


unidentified 
charcoal 


1 3c adjusted: -28.1 


Hearth 14 (2C) 


1 570±80 




Beta-71 474 


unidentified 
charcoal 


unacceptably late; low 
density "different" material 


TP-C (north terrace) 


4645±65 


3520-3350 


SI-2527 


unidentified 
charcoal 


possibly too young; 
iron pan formation may 
result in accumulation 
of younger humic acids 



72 



CHAPTER 5 



recent for the associated lithic material. Also, the 
radiocarbon laboratory reported the charcoal sample 
consisted of low density wood different in appearance 
from the other samples. On the other hand, there is 
always the possibility that the sample might date a 
Late Prehistoric Indian or Dorset component, although 
there is no evidence for this in the lithic material. 

Taken at face value, the remaining dates from 
Area 2 suggest the presence of two occupation phas- 
es. Phase 1, dated ca. 6000 B.P., occurs in Areas 2B 
and 2C. These two subareas were separated by a dis- 
tance of over 10 m and although there were some 
similarities in associated features (i.e., hearth-pit 
complexes, see below), there are marked behavioral 
differences (discussed in greater detail in Chapter 6). 
Phase 2, with dates ranging from ca. 5700-5300 B.P. 
(note the large standard deviations for two of the 
dates), is limited to Area 2A. This occupation lies 
between the two earlier components, so it is reason- 
able to ask if the Phase 2 occupation was superim- 
posed on the earlier Phase 1 occupation. As will be 
discussed in Chapter 8, there are no obvious aspects 
of the tool typology that would indicate superposi- 
tion, but Chapter 6 identifies a small area of probable 
overlap between the northern end of Area 2A and 
Area 2B: fire-cracked rock deposits along the 49-50x 
lines. Chapter 6 argues that the spatial patterning of 
lithics and hearths at Area 2A exhibits certain consis- 
tencies suggestive of two "behavioral modules", one 
on either side of the large central rock, but the num- 
ber of hearths associated with each module raises 
questions about possible re-occupation. So far, a 
phase post-dating ca. 5300 B.P. has not been identi- 
fied clearly at Area 2. As noted previously, during the 
1979 excavation a flake scatter was observed at a 
higher level than the main Area 2A occupation, 
although it was not possible to elaborate upon this in 
the subsequent analysis. There are also later radio- 
carbon dates from other contexts at the site: 
4645±65 B.P. from Test Pit C at the northwestern end 
of the site terrace and 5090±95 B.P. from Area 3 (see 



Chapter 7). Consequently, the likelihood of a third 
occupation phase at Area 2 should be kept in mind. 

Looking more critically at the radiocarbon dates, 
three possible sources of error can be suggested. The 
first is inter-laboratory variation. All of the 6OOO-1- B.P. 
dates were run by Beta Analytic, while the later dates 
were provided by the Smithsonian and the University of 
Georgia. A second possible source of error is the old 
wood factor; none of the charcoal dated 5000-1- B.P. 
was identified to species so it is possible that it could 
have been derived from old driftwood. The third source 
of error is soil chemistry. As discussed in Chapter 7, 
Area 3 and the western end of the main beach terrace 
were subject to extreme podzolization processes lead- 
ing to the formation of an impressive iron pan. These 
pedological processes may contribute to the accumula- 
tion of younger humic acids that may effect radiocar- 
bon dates (cf., Lascelles et al. 2000). Although Area 2 
did not exhibit iron pan formation there was very 
strong podzolization, especially at Area 2A where the 
sand sediments were considerably deeper than Areas 
2B and 2C. If so, it is possible the radiocarbon dates 
from Area 2A are too young and that the subarea may 
actually date closer to 2B and 2C (6000 B.P.). 

Shoreline dating does not provide much assis- 
tance in assessing the radiocarbon dates. The displace- 
ment curve for the Nain region (Figure 5) indicates that 
the 31 m asl. beach terrace upon which Area 2 is situ- 
ated could have emerged by ca. 7000 B.P.. The curve 
also suggests that if a 6000 B.P. occupation, such as 
Areas 2B and 2C, was located near its contemporary 
shoreline it should lie at ca. 20 m asl., while a 5500 
B.P. occupation, such as Area 2A, should lie ca. 1 5 m 
asl. Consequently, assuming the displacement curve is 
accurate, it is likely that both the Area 2 occupation 
phases were located a considerable distance above 
their contemporary shorelines, 10 m in the case of 
Areas 2B and 2C, 1 5 m in the case of Area 2A. Other 
Nain area Maritime Archaic localities dated ca. 6000 
B.P. lie between 26-22 m asl., suggesting a general 
tendency for sites to be placed well above their con- 



NUKASUSUTOK-5: DESCRIPTIVE OVERVIEW 



73 



temporary shorelines. This placement is likely related 
to the practical advantages of using tombolo beach- 
es: two-sided access for boat landing, large settle- 
ment surfaces and excellent views. 

A final chronological element can be mentioned. 
Although none of the charcoal samples submitted 
for radiocarbon dating were identified as to wood 
type, a series of charcoal samples from both the 
northern and southern parts of Area 2A as well as 
from near hearth 10 at Area 2C were identified by 
Dosia Laeyendecker of the Smithsonian Institution. 
All these samples contained alder/birch (probably 
mostly alder) and willow; coniferous wood was 
absent. The lack of coniferous wood suggests these 
occupations pre-date 4500-4200 B.P., when spruce 
woodland became established in the area (Short 
1978:32). 

Feature Variation 

At this point, a brief summary of the Area 2 features 
is in order. Their range of formal and functional vari- 
ation will be evaluated to foreshadow their signifi- 
cance for the spatial analysis and interpretation to 
be presented in Chapter 6. 

Two major hearth types were found at Area 2: 
surface hearths associated with rock clusters 
(hearths 1 , 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 1 1 , 1 2, 1 3, 1 4 and possibly 
1 5) and shallow pit-hearths with surface rock clus- 
ters and at least one or two rocks within the pit 
basins (hearths 3a, 3b, 5, 8). Both types were gener- 
ally associated with flat rock slabs and red ocher was 
often, though not always, present. Among the sur- 
face hearths, hearth 9 stood out as unique in its 
robust construction with a paved floor and inclined 
slabs, although this impression may simply be a 
result of better preservation than the other features. 
Nonetheless, some functional difference may be sig- 
naled by the box-like form. 

At Area 28 a large pit lay adjacent to hearth 1 1 . 
A similar arrangement was found at Area 2C, with an 
elongated pit lying between hearths 9 and 10. This 



could indicate a paired pit/hearth functional unit, 
although the contemporaneity of the features cannot 
be determined. Area 2A's hearths 2 and 8 might also 
be seen in this light, since the latter has a pit-like 
form, although it is considerably smaller than the 
aforementioned pit features. 

At Area 2A the hearths were clustered in two 
groups on opposite sides of the large central rock. 
The possibility that these groupings represent sepa- 
rate activity modules will be taken up in the next 
chapter, where the features are contextualized with 
their associated lithic distributions. 

The large quantity of fire-cracked rock at Area 
2B stands out from the other two subareas. This 
statement should perhaps be qualified, since insuffi- 
cient attention may have been paid to the presence 
of fire-cracked rock during the 1 979-80 fieldwork at 
Area 2A. Nonetheless, a significant qualitative differ- 
ence between these two subareas is a reasonable 
assumption. Area 2B is unquestionably different 
from Area 2C; in the latter subarea, fire-cracked rock 
occurs only as small scatters associated with three of 
the hearths. The spatial pattern of the rock distribu- 
tion at Area 2B is also distinctive: a roughly concen- 
tric ring around a central pit/hearth complex. The 
next chapter discusses the possible behavioral link- 
ages between these features. 

Area 3 

Area 3 lay 38 m west of Area 2, slightly downslope 
on a narrow terrace lying at 28 m asl. (Figure 22). 
The locality was discovered in 1979 during shovel 
testing aimed at determining the boundaries of the 
site. As luck would have it, a shovel-test penetrated 
the center of an impressively thick and bright red 
ocher deposit. An area of 28 m^ was opened, reveal- 
ing four features, two consisting of remarkable oval 
concentrations of red ocher and rocks and two more 
consisting of rock clusters, one with a restricted red 
ocher deposit, the other with a charcoal patch. At 
first, these features were believed to be burials, but 



74 



CHAPTER 5 



Wyatt Harbor, view to the southeast over Nukasusutok-5 site (Photo W. Fitzhugh 1975) 



subsurface investigation did not confirm this. Shovel 
tests conducted elsewhere along the terrace provid- 
ed negative results except in one area 4.5 m south- 
west of the main excavation. A 1 by 3 m unit was 
opened there, but very little cultural material was 
encountered. A detailed analysis of Area 3 is pre- 
sented in Chapter 7. 



NUKASUSUTOK-5: DESCRIPTIVE OVERVIEW 




76 



CHAPTER 5 



Nukasusuto 
Spatial Analysis 



Chapter 3 outlined interpretations of Maritime Archaic 
social relations and their behavioral consequences and 
discussed methodological strategies for linking these 
behavioral consequences with spatial patterning in the 
archaeological record. This discussion constitutes a 
platform for the analysis of spatial patterning at Area 
2 that will be undertaken here. 

Limitations and Complications 

In choosing the most appropriate analytical methods it 
was necessary to recognize the limitations of the Area 
2 data. The first problem was the quality of the prove- 
nience data. For the 1 979 excavation a significant pro- 
portion of the utilized flakes, bipolar cores and block 
cores were only provenienced within 1 m^ units, so 
these tool classes could only be handled by quadrat 
analysis. The other classes could be presented in both 
point-plotted and quadrat form. Regarding the deb- 
itage analysis, there were good "eyeball" plots of flakes 
by major raw material types for all excavation seasons 
except 1 980. Weather conditions were so poor in 1 980 
that flakes were simply collected by quadrats. 
Fortunately, the area excavated was small (1 2 m^) and 
the quantity of debitage very low, so the plotted flake 
distributions from adjacent units could still be used for 
a meaningful visual analysis. Indeed, the debitage 
point patterns provide some of the strongest support 
for the interpretations presented herein. The quantita- 
tive analyses of debitage raw materials were conduct- 
ed with quadrats. Area 2A and part of 2C, excavated in 



1979-80, were analysed using 1 quadrats. Area 2B 
and most of 2C, excavated in 1992 and 1993, were 
analysed using 50 cm^ quadrats. 

Another potential limitation is the effect of site 
formation processes. The first issue involves the ana- 
lytical implications of having at least three occupation 
phases at the site as a whole and at least two phases 
at Area 2, dated ca. 6000 B.P. and 5500 B.P.. To what 
degree can we be assured that any patterns we observe 
are not simply the result of a messy palimpsest accu- 
mulation? Chapter 5 pointed out that the radiocarbon 
dating of the features at Area 2 suggests the two occu- 
pation periods are spatially separated. Furthermore, 
the discussion of debitage distributions to be present- 
ed in this chapter will demonstrate that while a small 
area of overlap probably exists between Areas 2A and 
2B, this does not significantly compromise the analyti- 
cal results. 

Harder to evaluate is the possibility of a later com- 
ponent overlying the southern portion of Area 2A. As 
noted in Chapter 5, this possibility was indicated by 
the presence in several units of Ramah chert flakes 
close to the surface, separated from the main occupa- 
tion horizon by a thin sterile zone. Given the lack of 
consistent stratigraphic control in these units it was 
impossible to make a clear distinction of this upper 
level material in order to check the effects of its 
removal on the spatial patterning. 

The other problem is the cumulative effect of var- 
ious natural formation processes on the deposit, par- 



NUKASUSUTOK-5 SPATIAL ANALYSIS 



77 



ticularly when combined with the multiple-component 
issue. One phenomena is vertical movement in the 
sand deposits of objects of different density. At Area 2 
quartz flal<es and chunks sometimes lay deeper than 
Ramah chert or other flakes. But probably the more 
important disturbance factor was wind deflation and 
redeposition of the sand sediments, a process visible 
today in the blow-out between Areas 1 and 2. As noted 
in Chapter 5, some of the irregular peat-filled depres- 
sions observed at Area 2 might be the result of defla- 
tion. This process may produce a mixed deposit of cul- 
tural material from different occupation levels at the 
bottom of a blow-out. Wind action may also displace 
cultural material along a horizontal plane. Another 
potential disturbance factor is tree-throws, which 
might uproot and mix cultural material from separate 
levels and result in short lateral movements of materi- 
al. Presently there are no trees at Area 2, but they grow 
further west on the terrace and their distribution might 
have been more extensive previously. 

Preliminary Overview 

The spatial analysis begins with a presentation of the 
overall feature, debitage and tool distributions, since 
these provide the essential framework upon which the 
subsequent analyses and interpretations build. The 
main goals are to identify the boundaries of the three 
analytical subareas and to establish preliminary behav- 
ioral interpretations that will provide direction for the 
analyses. 

Flake and Feature Distributions 

As noted in Chapter 5, the three subareas can be dis- 
tinguished chronologically, with centrally positioned 
Area 2A dated 5600-5300 B.P. sandwiched between 
Areas 2B and 2C, both dated 6000-61 00 B.P.. A plot of 
the distribution pattern of all flakes at Area 2, irrespec- 
tive of raw material type, also reinforces the impres- 
sion that the three subareas can be treated as separate 



analytical units (Figure 33). The low flake frequency 
between Areas 2A and 2C suggests there is minimal 
likelihood of significant spatial overlap and palimpsest 
problems. On the other hand, the units between Areas 
2A and 2B (48-50x) contained a fairly high frequency 
of flakes. Spatial overlap is likely here, since the high 
frequency of Ramah chert in the border area is more 
akin to the flake raw material frequencies in 28 than 
the northern portion of 2A and because there is a 
slight extension of the Area 28 fire-cracked rock "car- 
pets" into the border area, especially in 49x78-79y. 
Nonetheless, the amount of overlap is not extensive. 

The flake distribution patterns at Area 2A display 
two double linear or perhaps horseshoe-like configura- 
tions (Figure 34)— hereafter referred to as "lobes"— 
one on each side of a large flat-topped rock. Parts of 
these configurations display sharp boundaries^, per- 
haps indicative of a limiting factor. The eastern bound- 
ary of the southernmost lobe is diffuse, although there 
is an identifiable shift in the density of the points. This 
is the area in which there might be a later occupation 
and thus a palimpsest effect (units 45-47x70-73y), a 
possibility which is discussed further below. 

The north lobe is comprised of two parallel north- 
south trending distributions, each ca. 4 m long, 1-1.2 
m wide, which are separated by a near-empty "corri- 
dor" 60-80 cm wide. There appears to be a narrow 50- 
60 cm opening at the northern end of the lobe. The 
southern end is linked by a sparse distribution of 
flakes and terminates at the edge of the large central 
rock. The flake concentration marking the slightly pro- 
jecting northeastern corner of the lobe might be a con- 
sequence of overlap with Area 2B, since fire-cracked 
rock extends into this area (49x78y). 

Five hearths are contained within the north lobe. 
Hearth 2 is positioned in the corridor near the middle 
of the lobe and is flanked on either side by hearths 6 
and 8, which lie slightly within the linear flake distribu- 
tions. Hearth 7 is situated on the inner edge of the 



Note that the seemingly sharp boundary at 44x 72-71 y is artificial; in 1980 flakes were not plotted in this area. 



78 



CHAPTER 6 



50x84y 



47x83y 




C Lobe boundary 
5°""* m Hearth 

\Z] Fire-cracked rock 



44K79y 



43x75y 



1 2 



3b 



12 



14 



o ail 



® 



13 



34/ Area 2A: inferred flake lobes in relation to features. 



50x7 1y 




47x69y 



44x79y 



35/ Area 2A: rock distribution in relation to inferred flake lobes. 

NUKASUSUTOK-5: SPATIAL ANALYSIS 



79 




36/ Area 2A: flake lobes superimposed on vertical bipod photo. 

flake distribution and beside the corridor while hearth 
1 is located close to the eastern edge of the lobe. A 
cluster of rocks that might be a hearth (H-1 8) lies just 
outside the north lobe in 48x79y. As described in 
Chapter 5, the hearths exhibited varying forms, per- 
haps indicative of functional differences. Hearths 1, 2 
and 7 were surface cobble and slab hearths, hearth 6 
was a pit surrounded by large rocks, while hearth 8 
was an elongated pit. 

The south lobe also consists of two parallel linear 
flake distributions, the eastern one 3.7 m long by 0.75- 
1 .0 m wide, the western one 3.7 m long by 1 .2 m wide, 
which are separated by a corridor 0.70-1.0 m wide. 
The northern end of the lobe is entirely open while the 
southern end has a narrow 60 cm opening between 
two hearths. The northern end of the eastern linear 
distribution terminates 70 cm southeast of the large 
flat central rock. Depending on where the boundaries 
of the flake distribution are drawn, the northern end of 
the western linear distribution terminates 50-80 cm 
south of the limit of the north lobe. This configuration 
creates an area of low flake density (2.0 by 1.5 m in 
size) between the central rock and the south lobe. 

The south lobe contains four definite hearths, of 
which three are located near the southern end. Hearth 
3b is positioned in the middle of the corridor and is 



flanked on both sides by 
hearths 3a and 5, which lie at 
the inner edges of the linear 
flake distributions. Hearth 4 lies 
slightly within the corridor and 
on the edge of the open space 
between the south lobe and the 
central rock. Additionally, a 
rock cluster in 46x73y might 
have been a hearth (H-1 6), 
given its association with a red 
ocher patch and its position rel- 
ative to the flake distribution. If 
so, the hearth locations at the 
south lobe would be more simi- 
lar to those at the north lobe. As at the north lobe, the 
varying forms of the hearths suggest functional differ- 
ences. Hearths 3a and 5 were circular pits, hearth 3b 
an elongated pit and hearth 4 as well as possible 
hearth 16 were surface cobble/slab features. 

The pattern becomes more complex when over- 
laid with the rock distribution (Figures 35 and 36). 
Rocks occurring within the lobes are generally hearth- 
related. Most of the flat slabs are spatially associated 
with hearths, suggesting they were connected with 
hearth construction and cooking/heating practices. 
Other small rocks are scattered around the lobes; 
some of these were probably displaced or discarded 
from hearths while others may simply be part of the 
sediment matrix. The northeast tip of the north lobe 
shows a minor cluster of rather small rocks; these 
might be outliers of the fire-cracked rock concentra- 
tion at Area 2B. 

Most of the other rocks occur in the area between 
the lobes, concentrated on the western and eastern 
sides of the large central rock. The western side con- 
tains a diffuse scatter of over two dozen rocks, most of 
which are moderately large and rounded in form, but a 
number of flat slabs are also present. Some of the 
large rocks are positioned directly against the north- 
western tip of the south lobe (the vertical photo in 



80 



CHAPTER 6 



Figure 36 shows this more clearly than the drawings). 
On the eastern side of the large central rock is a dis- 
tinctive group of moderately large rocks, including 
quite a few flat slabs, that extends eastwards from the 
central rock. Some of the larger rocks directly border 
the northeastern tip of the south lobe while a few lie 
within 50 cm of the southeastern edge of the north 
lobe. The western and eastern rock alignments there- 
fore seem structurally similar in their positioning 
against the ends of the lobes and their extension 
across the gaps between the two lobes. 

At the northern end of the north lobe there is a 
small cluster of rocks just outside and west of the gap 
in the flake distribution. Although these may be the 
remains of a hearth (H-1 8), they might also have been 
ejected from the activity space within the north lobe. 
Nearby is a small pit containing charcoal and red ocher 
that might have been a hearth (H-1 9). Just east of the 
north lobe there is a small concentration of probable 
fire-cracked rocks nestled between four boulders 
(49x76y); their association with either the north lobe 
or Area 2B is unclear. Other fire-cracked rocks were 
scattered here and there at Area 2A, but they were not 
recorded systematically. It seems clear, however, that 
there were no major concentrations as at Area 2B. 

The preceding description of the spatial pattern- 
ing can now be integrated into a preliminary interpre- 
tation. There are two debitage lobes, each 4 m long by 
3 m wide, on either side of a central rock. The overall 
pattern does not resemble that of the drop/toss-zone 
distinctions of the external hearth model. Each lobe 
contains five hearths that are spaced similarly, as well 
as a triple hearth alignment, in both cases located 
towards the end of the lobe furthest from the central 
rock. Rock clusters occur on both the eastern and 
western sides of the central rock in the between-lobe 
space. These spatial configurations suggest the lobes 
share a marked degree of organizational symmetry. 
Consequently, there are reasonable grounds to consid- 
er the lobes as possible dwelling-related behavioral 
modules that can be treated as distinct analytical units. 



Area 2B is distinguished by its pattern of fire- 
cracked rock carpets surrounding a pit and a disturbed 
hearth. This quasi-concentric feature-centered distri- 
bution bears a general resemblance to the drop/toss 
zone model, with flakes mostly occurring in what 
might be a drop zone close to the central features and 
fire-cracked rock lying in a surrounding toss-zone-like 
ring. In contrast. Area 2C is marked by generally low 
flake density, except for sharply bounded clusters on 
opposite sides of hearth 14. There were no significant 
accumulations of fire-cracked rock. Too little was exca- 
vated at Area 2C to contextualize the pattern, but 
there is a clear behavioral contrast with Area 28. The 
bounded flake distributions at Area 2C are reminiscent 
of the lobes at Area 2A. 

A Preliminary Look at the Tool Distribution 

Having defined what seem to be meaningful overall 
patterns in the distribution of debitage and features, 
we should take a preliminary look at the tool distribu- 
tion to see how it fits with the initial interpretations. As 
noted previously, point pattern analysis of the tool dis- 
tributions is hampered by the imprecise proveniencing 
of many utilized flakes, bipolar cores and block cores. 
Although the provenienced portion of these types can- 
not be taken as a random sample of the overall distri- 
butions of the types, eliminating them entirely from a 
point pattern analysis or shifting the entire analysis to 
quadrats might lose useful information. Consequently, 
the provenienced portion of the offending types was 
considered to have at least rough representative value 
and a fc-means cluster analysis of the tool assemblage 
was undertaken. The results should be viewed as illus- 
trative of general tendencies and the overall logic of 
the analysis, not as the basis for robust conclusions. 

Several different numbers of clusters could fit this 
material depending on the degree of splitting/lumping 
one is willing to accept, but some of the tool clusters 
were stable through different runs. Figure 37 illus- 
trates 12- and 9-cluster solutions in relation to the 
flake and feature distributions. In most cases the tool 



NUKASUSUTOK-5: SPATIAL ANALYSIS 



81 




37/ Area 2 k-means cluster analysis, nme-cluster solution. 12 twelve-cluster solution. 



clusters are associated with hearths, either centered 
directly on the features or adjacent to them. In Area 
2A, clusters 2, 4, 5, and 7 are stable in both solutions. 
The positioning of cluster 8 is roughly similar in the 
two solutions, but in the 12-cluster solution its cen- 
troid is displaced slightly north, with several items 
being split off to form a new cluster (1 1) centered on 
hearth 6. This seems to be a reasonable adjustment. 
Additionally, in the 12-cluster solution the centroid of 
cluster 9 is shifted south such that its tool contents are 
split with new cluster 1 2. Each of these two clusters is 



positioned adjacent to a hearth (hearths 5 and 4, 
respectively). This corresponds better with expecta- 
tions of hearth-centered distributions, but it may be 
somewhat artificial given the diffuse nature of the tool 
distributions. Taken at face value, the stability of most 
clusters over both solutions indicates a pattern, but 
the differences suggest it would be worthwhile to run 
additional analyses for Area 2A separate from the 
other two sub-areas. This is discussed further below. 

In Area 2B, clusters 3 and 6 are stable in both 
solutions, with the former encompassing the central 



82 



CHAPTER 6 



Area 2B 




38/ Area 2: quadrat groupings used in the analyses. 



pit-hearth complex and the latter situated in an area of 
fire-cracked rock to the east. In Area 2C, cluster 5 
remains stable between hearths 9, 10, 12 and 13. In 
the 9-cluster solution cluster 1 includes both hearths 
14 and 15, but in the 12-cluster solution cluster 1 
splits, with a new cluster 10 emerging by hearth 15 
and cluster 1 centered on hearth 14. Unfortunately, 
too little was excavated around hearth 1 5 to evaluate 
the significance of this splitting. 

Overall, the relative lack of cluster overlap 
between the three subareas reinforces the impression 
derived from the flake distributions that the three 
areas can be treated as independent units for analysis. 
The following pages will present more detailed inter- 
pretations of the spatial structure within each subarea. 

Area 2A 

The preceding section used the overall distribution of 
flakes and tools in relation to features at Area 2 to 
establish a basic framework for analysis. Two behav- 
ioral modules were postulated for Area 2A. This initial 
interpretation will now be investigated systematically 
through an analysis of the distribution patterns of all 
data classes. Figure 38 provides an overview of how 



quadrats were grouped into larger model-based analyt- 
ical units for some of the analyses. 

Flake Distributions 

The most valuable information comes from the point- 
plotted flakes: quartz, Ramah chert, fine-grained 
cherts and slate (the latter two materials treated gener- 
ically). Quadrat data are also provided for the various 
raw material types, since these counts include flakes 
found during screening and provide more secure iden- 
tifications of color variants for Mugford chert and slate 
than was possible in the field. 

The point plots for quartz and Ramah chert exhib- 
it similar forms (Figures 39 and 40), but quartz pro- 
vides a stronger demarcation of the north lobe while 
Ramah chert gives a clear definition of the south lobe. 
Quartz flakes are concentrated close to hearths 6 and 
8 at the north lobe and hearths 3b and 5 at the south 
lobe. With the exception of hearth 3b, these concentra- 
tions lie mostly on one side of the hearths. Other clus- 
ters, particularly in the south lobe, are independent of 
the hearths. At the north lobe, Ramah chert has slight 
concentrations within and adjacent to hearths 7 and 8, 
but is otherwise rather diffuse except for a clustering 



NUKASUSUTOK-5; SPATIAL ANALYSIS 



83 




at the northwest corner of the lobe. At the south lobe, 
there is a tight concentration of hundreds of Ramah 
chert flakes on one side of hearth 4 and a broader, 
probably overlapping, concentration on one side of 
hearth 5. The 3-4 area between these two hearths 
contains a total of ca. 1 500 Ramah chert flakes, mak- 
ing it the most intensive point of Ramah chert reduc- 
tion/discard at Nukasusutok-5. A less voluminous clus- 
tering (ca. 600 flakes) occurs on one side of hearth 3a, 
extending into what initially appeared to be a hearth- 
independent concentration at the northeast corner of 



the south lobe. In retrospect, however, the adjacent 
rock cluster associated with a red ocher stain may be a 
hearth (H-l 6, Figures 25 and 33), although no charcoal 
was recorded in the field notes. 

In sum, the distribution patterns of both raw 
materials are partially, but not exclusively, hearth-cen- 
tered. Each material exhibits fairly clear outer bound- 
aries rather than a density gradient, consistent with 
the impression derived from the total flake distribu- 
tion. There is also a fairly clear inner boundary in each 
case, resulting in a markedly lower flake density in the 



84 



CHAPTER 6 



53x84y 



50x64y 




53x76y 



Ramah chert flakes 



47x83y 



44x79y 



50x7 1y 



1 2 
I I I 



a- 



43x75y 



O ■fc' 

^ U11 



22 22 12 2 



37 



22 

o 



/I 



23^, 



26 



43 



27 



Ramah chert flakes 



34 -22V 



o 

27 



27 



14 



23! 



32 



41 



35 



109 



510 



59 



432 



56 



172 



408 



225 



63 



Yf6 



ca62 



92 



34 



20 



11 



't6x63y 



41x61y 



40/ Area 2 distribution of Ramah cliert flakes. 



middle of each lobe. Consequently, the overall pattern 
does not correspond with the exterior hearth model. 

As noted previously, however, the scatter of 
Ramah chert flakes to the east of the south lobe cre- 
ates some interpretive problems. There is a reasonably 
clear, albeit narrow, break in the density gradient 
between the south lobe and the eastern scatter, but 
there may be a palimpsest effect from a later occupa- 
tion. To control for this possibility, Figure 41 presents 
a plot of the Ramah chert flake distribution for the 
south lobe with the uppermost level 1 flakes eliminat- 



ed. This is not an ideal solution since level 1 was suf- 
ficiently deep that it probably combined some flakes 
from the two possible components. Nevertheless, the 
modified plot strongly reinforces the idea of a clear 
boundary along this side of the lobe and reveals a lin- 
ear distribution with a width very similar to that of the 
western side of the lobe. 

Patinated Ramah chert has a white and some- 
times cracked surface indicative of thermal alteration. 
The quadrat diagram (Figure 42) indicates that pati- 
nated Ramah chert clusters strongly in the south lobe 



NUKASUSUTOK-5: SPATIAL ANALYSIS 



85 



with Area 2B. Since patination 
is the result of thermal stress it 
is not surprising to find the 
material concentrated near 
hearths, but its occurrence 
some distance from hearths 
implies that in those cases it 
must have been removed from 
the hearths and redeposited 
elsewhere. This possibility is 
discussed further below. 

The point-pattern distribu- 
tion of fine-grained cherts, 
along with a quadrat breakdown 
by gray Mugford and black 
chert variants (Figure 43) indi- 
cates they are mainly associated 
with the south lobe and are 




42/ Area 2 distribution of patinated Ramah cinert flal<es. 



48x75y 
+. 




48x69y 






• 


• 






+ 

44x75y 


• .../••• .•••<i.v. ••• • .• •• • 
:.■■•<'-■ ::-.V.»',i ..V V: -.ly ;•■ 


44x69y 



41/ Area 2A south lobe, lower level distribution of Ramah chert flakes. 



adjacent to hearths and at the northernmost end of 
the north lobe associated with hearths 2, 6 and 8, but 
not with the other two hearths. It is absent from the 
"middle" area between the lobes. The patinated 
Ramah chert in units 49x78-79y north of the north 
lobe may be partly or entirely the result of overlap 



absent from the "middle" area. In the south lobe, both 
materials cluster around hearth 4, with lesser amounts 
near hearth 5. The black chert distribution is interest- 
ing since its highest frequencies (10 flakes) are found 
in symmetric opposition at both ends of the lobe near 
the "middle" area. In the north lobe, both cherts are 



86 



CHAPTER 6 



Table 5: Area 2A Flake Raw Material Frequencies by Model Units 





North Lobe 


Middle 


South Lobe 


Other 


TOTAL 




N (%) 


N (%) 


N (%) 


N (%) 


N (%) 


Quartz 


1 1 59 (47.0) 


63 (58.3) 


1065 (26.0) 


301 (19.1) 


2588 (31 .4) 


Ramah chert 


1097 (44.5) 


44 (40.7) 


2634 (64.3) 


1 182 (74.8) 


4957 (60.1) 


Patinated Ramah 


42 (1 .7) 




71 (1.7) 


25 (1 .6) 


1 38 (1 .7) 


Gray Mugford chert 


20 (0.8) 




35 (0.9) 


4 (0.3) 


59 (0.7) 


Green Mugford chert 






2 (0.0) 




2 (0.0) 


Black chert 


19 (0.8) 




35 (0.9) 


7 (0.4) 


61 (0.7) 


Slate— total 


129 (5.2) 


1 (0.9) 


252 (6.2) 


61(3.9) 


443 (5.4) 


Beige 


7 (0.3) 




19 (0.5) 


3 (0.2) 




Green 


1 1 (0.4) 


1 (0.9) 


87 (2.1) 


31 (2.0) 




Gray 


99 (4.0) 




1 38 (3.4) 


20 (1 .3) 




Gray-banded 


8 (0.3) 






1 (0.1) 




Red-brown 


3 (0.1) 




3 (0.1) 


6 (0.4) 




Indet. 


1 (0.0) 




5 (0.1) 






TOTAL 


2466 


108 


4094 


1580 


8248 



primarily associated with hearths 2, 6 and 8, while they 
are absent from hearths 1 and 7, The small cluster of 
both materials in units 49x77-78y north of the north 
lobe may be a result of overlap with Area 2B. 

Figure 44 shows the distribution of plotted slate 
flakes (undifferentiated by color variant). Once again 
the pattern is one of concentration in the two lobes 
and virtual absence from the middle. It is also clear 
that within each lobe the outer boundaries of the 
slate distributions fit closely with those of quartz and 
Ramah chert. At the south lobe slate occurs as two 
roughly parallel distributions on either side of the 
central corridor. Closer inspection suggests it clus- 
ters adjacent to hearths 3a, 4, 5, with another appar- 
ently hearth-independent concentration at the north- 
eastern edge of the lobe. The latter is consistent with 
the tendencies noted in the quartz and Ramah chert 
distributions. 

To pull this together, Table 5 compares the pro- 
portions of the flake raw material types by grouping 
the quadrats into model-based units: the north and 
south lobes representing behavioral modules, the 



"middle" consisting of units near the large central rock 
between the lobes and "other" defined as all remain- 
ing units outside the lobes. There is a clear difference 
between the north lobe and middle subareas, with 
their somewhat even proportions of quartz to Ramah 
chert, and the south lobe and "other" subareas, which 
have much higher proportions of Ramah chert to 
quartz. Comparison with chi-square expected frequen- 
cies confirms the importance of the aforementioned 
proportional differences, although the frequency of 
Ramah chert in the south lobe and "other" subareas 
may be inflated by palimpsest effects from a Ramah 
chert-rich later component. The expected frequencies 
also indicate a slight over-representation of slate 
flakes at the south lobe. If we consider flake raw mate- 
rials by weight (Table 6), quartz clearly dominates in 
all subareas, but the proportional weight of Ramah 
chert is greater in the south lobe and "other" subareas, 
consistent with the frequency data. 

The middle subarea's relatively balanced frequen- 
cy of quartz and chert resembles the north lobe pro- 
portions (although by weight the Ramah chert propor- 



88 



CHAPTER 6 



53x76y N 




Slate flakes (generic) 



3 

IP 



o 



Green slate flakes 



^ 9 



•I2I 9^ 



O o 



Gray slate flakes 



n I 



C3J 



1)4 6 12C1I-, 



II 



H74 



Gray-banded 
slate flakes 




O 



O 



Beige slate flakes 



TJ 



® 



II 



44/ Area 2 distribution of slate flakes. 

NUKA5USUT0K 5: SPATIAL ANALYSIS 



89 



Table 6: Area 2A Flake Raw Material Weights by Model Units in Grams 





iNurin LUDc 
N (%) 


IV| lUU Ic 

N (%) 


30Uin LOD€ 

N (%) 


vjiner 
N (%) 


QuHrtz 


H DUzf \o / .0} 


1 OA (-70 9\ 


5 7 1 r7n 41 


1 8HK ^1 
1 OoD ^Do. 


R9m3.h chert 


A7K (Q 7\ 






77n 07 Q1 


rdLirialcU rvdllldri 






44. 7 Ri 




Lirdy iviugioru cncii 


A (D ^ \ 
^ ^u. 1 ) 




s? (^n 71 


17 1 1 


DidCK crtcri 




:3.D \\J.\ ) 


1 c m 0\ 

1 0.0 vu. J j 


1 H 1 1 


ij 1 cc ii ivi uy 1 Ul U 






n ■? en ni 




3laLc — lOLdI 




yj.c. yJ. \ ) 


■? 7 1 7 ^ 11 


Q 1 A a 51 




I.J \\J .u t 




7 en 1 1 


1 A in 'i\ 


Gr86n 


OQ z> (r\ Q\ 


\j .L. \\J . \ } 


1 7 1^1 


f,7 A U A\ 








1 7 =^1 


1 Q Q 71 


Cray-banded 


3 (0.1) 




0.1 (0.0) 


0.1 (0.0) 


Red-brown 


0.9 (0.0) 




0.5 (0.0) 


2.6 (0.1) 


Indet. 


19 (0.4) 




2 (0.0) 





tion in the middle is somewhat higher), but the middle 
has an extremely low overall flake total, entirely lacks 
patinated Ramah chert and Mugford chert, and has 
only a single slate flake. Thus, the low intensity of lith- 
ic reduction in the middle subarea stands as a marked 
contrast to the two lobes and is also consistent with its 
low frequency of retouched implements (n =14, see 
Table 7), though not with the relatively high propor- 
tion of quartz cores (see below). The "other" subarea 
has quartz/Ramah chert proportions similar to the 
south lobe. 

If we consider slate color variants by frequency, 
both lobes are dominated by gray slate, while green 
slate is the second most frequent variant. Nonetheless, 
a chi-square test (x^ = 80.92) indicates there are sig- 
nificant differences in the spatial distributions of the 
slate variants, the expected frequencies pointing to a 
slight over-representation of gray slate in the north 
lobe and slight a over-representation of green slate in 
the south lobe and "other" subarea. The frequency of 
green slate in the "other" subarea— most being con- 
centrated east of the south lobe— could imply a behav- 
ioral link between the south lobe and the "external" 



area to the east. If the comparison is conducted by 
weight, however, there is parity in gray and green slate 
between the two lobes, but a repeated over-propor- 
tional amount of green slate in the "other" subarea 
(Table 6). Thus, the similarities in slate type propor- 
tions between the south lobe and the "other" subarea 
parallel the similarities in quartz/Ramah chert propor- 
tions between the same subareas. 

Variation in flake raw materials can also be evalu- 
ated independent of the model units. Although it can- 
not be assumed that the distributions of tools and deb- 
itage are conditioned by the same depositional vari- 
ables, a tool-cluster based quadrat grouping of flakes 
might reveal additional dimensions of spatial variation. 
The quadrats were grouped according to the 9-cluster 
solution, but the 1 m^ units did not coincide perfectly 
with the clusters. The resulting table (not shown) was 
not particularly enlightening, since the frequency vari- 
ations were fairly consistent with the model-based 
analysis. A better way of handling the debitage distri- 
bution independent of model assumptions was 
exploratory correspondence analysis of raw material 
frequencies by quadrats. The correspondence plot in 



90 



CHAPTER 6 



i 



Table 7: Area 2A Tool Classes by Model Units. 





PT 


Bl 


PR 


FP 


SC 


UF 


SP 


CA 


SB 


ST 


BC 


CO 


TM 


OTH 


TOTAL 


N 


2.5 


6 


3 


7 


6 


25 


2 


2 


2 


8 


1 3 


1 3 


1 


1 


91.5 


MID 


0.5 


2 






1 


4 








1 




4.5 




1 


1 4 


S 


8 


6 


2 


2 


1 1 


41 


2 


1 


4 


35 


32 


1 1 .5* 


1 


2 


1 58.5 


OTH 


2 


2 


1 


1 


4 


27 






6 


7 


12 


8 


5 


2 


77 


TOTAL 


1 3 


16 


6 


10 


22 


97 


4 


3 


12 


51 


57 


37 


7 


6 


341 


% 


3.8 


4.7 


1.8 


2.9 


6.5 


28.4 


1 .2 


0.9 


3.5 


1 5.0 


16.7 


10.9 


2.1 


1.8 





* a fragment conjoining with another in a different unit was assigned a value of .5 

PT: points (bifacial), BL bifaces, PR: preforms (biface), FP: flake points, SC: scrapers (endscrapers and 
flake knives), UF: utilized flakes, SP: slate points, CA: celt/adze, SB: slate blanks (unmodified plates and 
blanks), ST: slate tool fragments (ground slate flakes and unidentified tool fragments), BC: bipolar 
cores, CO: block cores (quartz), TM: tool manufacturing (hammerstones, schist tablets, whetstones), 
and OTH: other (stemmed flakes, linear flakes, graver). 



Figure 45 indicates that the first axis (horizontal) 
accounts for 75.2% of the variation, seriating the 
quadrats relative to their proportions of Ramah chert 
and quartz. The units on the left side of the axis are 
dominated by Ramah chert while the units on the right 
side are dominated by quartz. The second axis (verti- 
cal) accounts for 18.2% of the variation, scaling the 
quadrats relative to slate proportions. Units placed 
towards the top of the axis have unusually high fre- 
quencies of slate. Symbol coding of quadrats by the 
model-based units indicates a clear pattern. Most of 
the north lobe quadrats and all the middle quadrats 
are pulled right by high quartz frequencies, while most 
of the south lobe quadrats are pulled left by abundant 
Ramah chert (although several are pulled by quartz). 
"Other" quadrats are distributed in both the quartz and 
Ramah chert groups, although three quadrats are out- 
liers pulled by high frequencies of slate. Ten of the 1 3 
"other" quadrats that group with the south lobe are 
actually adjacent to that lobe, while 10 of the 15 
"other" quadrats that group with the north lobe lie 
adjacent to that lobe. Mugford chert has very little 
influence on the plot. Thus, the correspondence analy- 



sis indicates that the model-based units are to a great 
extent replicated by model-independent analysis. 

Tool Distribution 

The spatial distribution of tool classes may indicate 
something about functional or depositional variation 
within Area 2A. The analyses are conducted using 14 
largely functional classes, some of which (e.g., bifacial 
points) could be further subdivided into formal/func- 
tional variants (see Chapter 8 for a description of the 
tool material). Table 7 outlines the tool class frequen- 
cies in relation to the model-based units introduced in 
the debitage analysis. Variation in the table can be 
scaled by correspondence analysis and visualized in a 
plot (Figure 46). The first axis of the plot accounts for 
44.9% of the variation and primarily contrasts the 
south lobe on the right side with the north lobe slight- 
ly towards the left. The south lobe is positioned with 
bipolar cores, bifacial points, scrapers, utilized flakes 
and slate tool fragments. The north lobe is only distin- 
guished by flake points. Common to both lobes are 
block cores, bifaces and preforms. The middle subarea 
is pulled to the extreme left of the plot, probably 



NUKASUSUTOK-5: SPATIAL ANALYSIS 



91 



because of a modest frequency 
of block cores combined with 
an absence of bipolar cores. 
Along the second axis, account- 
ing for 34.9% of the variation, 
the "other" subarea is distin- 
guished towards the bottom of 
the plot by slate blanks and tool 
manufacturing items. Although 
the low tool frequencies limit 
the robustness of the analysis, 
it does point to contrasts 
between the subareas. The 
lobes are not replicate behav- 
ioral modules, but they do 
share broad similarities. 

A more detailed assess- 
ment of tool class variation can 
be had by combining the quan- 
titative data with the spatial dis- 
tribution diagrams. While some 
of the tool classes can reason- 
ably be evaluated in terms of 
their point distributions, oth- 
ers— specifically, utilized 
flakes, block cores and bipolar 
cores— lack systematic point 
proveniencing and are best 
evaluated by quadrats. Both 
types of information are provid- 
ed here. There are some inter- 
esting patterns in the distribu- 
tions of block and bipolar cores 
(Figures 47 and 48). The largely 
unworked quartz block cores 
are frequent in the middle area 
between the lobes, suggesting 
they were cached or dumped 
there. Half of the cores in this 
area are located in quadrats 
with few quartz flakes, while the 




45/ Area 2A: correspondence analysis plot of flake raw materials by quadrat, coded by 
analytical model units. 



2.0- 




1.5- 
c\ SP^ 




1.0- 




Bl 0.5- 
Axis 1 (44.9%) ^'a • . 

^ N Pj^^ 

-2.0 -1.5 -1.0 -0.5 


.ST 

SC ^BC 1.0 


1 1 1 

CO A 

^""^ 


^UF 


A 

OTH 

-1.0- 


OTH 

• 

^ SB 


1 ^ - 

▲ Tool class ' 




• Model unit 

-2.0- 


■ ^TM 


-2.5- 




Axis 2 (34.9%) 



46/ Area 2A: correspondence analysis plot of tool classes by analytical model units. 



92 



CHAPTER 6 




47/ Area 2: distribution of Mock cores by quadrat. 




48/ Area 2 distribution of bipolar cores by quadrat. 



Other half are positioned within or adjacent to a clus- 
ter of quartz debitage at the northeastern corner of the 
south lobe. Consequently, the placement of block 
cores is partly independent of quartz reduction loca- 
tions. There is also a slight concentration of block 
cores at the northern end of the north lobe. Here, how- 
ever, the cores are clearly associated with quartz flake 
concentrations. In contrast, bipolar cores, the interme- 



diary and final product of quartz reduction, are mostly 
found within the south lobe, where they are associated 
with the greatest densities of quartz flakes but are 
largely independent of the distribution of block cores. 
At the north lobe there are small clusters of bipolar 
cores at each end of the eastern side; the cluster near 
the northern end is associated with a concentration of 
quartz flakes, but the southern cluster is not. Both 



NUKASUSUTOK 5: SPATIAL ANALYSIS 



93 




49/ Area 2 distribution of utilized flal<es by quadrat. 



clusters are associated with or are adjacent to concen- 
trations of block cores. In the quadrats east of the mid- 
dle area between the lobes there are several bipolar 
cores that are largely independent of the distribution 
of both block cores and quartz debitage. This place- 
ment might suggest they are secondary refuse rather 
than the products of In situ reduction. In sum, with the 
exception of the eastern exterior area, the associations 
suggest primary refuse accumulation combined with 
some degree of caching or dumping of block cores 
separate from reduction areas. It is noteworthy that 
possible caching areas are found in similar locations at 
the northern end of both lobes. 

Utilized flakes (Figure 49) are generally found 
adjacent to the hearth features, although they are also 
frequent near the eastern edge of the middle area and 
in the corridor of the south lobe. There is also a small 
concentration in the area east of the south lobe. 

The distribution of bifacial points is plotted in 
Figure 50, biface preforms in Figure 51, and bifaces 
and fragments thereof in Figure 52. Most of the items 
from the three classes are associated with one or the 
other lobes, generally lying within 1 m of a hearth. 
Both preforms and biface fragments are fairly evenly 
distributed between the two lobes, but bifacial points 



are more frequent in the south lobe. The reverse pat- 
tern is seen for flake points (Figure 53); seven points 
are associated with the north lobe, while only two are 
associated with the south lobe. 

Endscrapers are made exclusively of fine-grained 
chert, both gray Mugford and black chert. They occur 
in both lobes, although they are somewhat more fre- 
quent in the south lobe, particularly adjacent to Hearth 
3a (Figure 54). Three are found near the western edge 
of the middle area. Two endscrapers lie near the open 
northern end of the north lobe, although one is In the 
area of presumed overlap with Area 2B. The distribu- 
tion of endscrapers is only partly consistent with the 
distribution of fine-grained chert flakes (Figure 43). On 
the eastern side of the south lobe there are seven tools 
and only 23 flakes, while on the western side there is 
only one tool but 46 flakes. Thus, discard/use and pro- 
duction/retouch are not always correlated. 

Ground slate tools are distributed fairly evenly 
between the two lobes, with slate points and adzes 
present in each lobe (Figure 55). The distribution of 
raw slate plates and partially formed tool blanks 
(Figure 56) is fairly even between the two lobes (two vs 
three), but four are scattered in the area east of the 
lobes. Overall, ca. 73% of all ground slate flakes and 



94 



CHAPTER 6 




unidentifiable ground tool fragments are associated 
with the south lobe (Table 7, Figure 57). The distribu- 
tion of ground slate flakes struck from tool edges is 
shown in Figure 57. All but one of these are found in 
the south lobe and in units adjacent to hearths. One 
specimen from inside the south lobe conjoins with a 
non-edge- struck slate flake in the area east of the 
south lobe. A single edge-struck flake occurs in the 
north lobe, adjacent to a hearth. In sum, although the 
deposition of slate tools within each lobe is roughly 
equivalent, the south lobe seems to exhibit a greater 



degree of slate tool production and reworking, as indi- 
cated by the high frequency of unground and ground 
slate flakes (Table 5; Figures 44 and 57). The area east 
of the south lobe contains a modest number of ground 
and unground slate flakes, plates/blanks and tools. 

The residual category "miscellaneous tools" (Figure 
58) tends to be associated with the hearths and is fair- 
ly evenly distributed between the lobes. An exception is 
the clustering of a flake knife, a graver/scraper and a 
stemmed flake near the eastern edge of the middle 
area. Seen in conjunction with a cluster of utilized 



NUKASUSUTOK-5: SPATIAL ANALYSIS 



95 



53x84y 



50x84y 



47x83y 



£1 



53x76y 



50x7 1y 




Biface preforms 



44x79y 



43x75y 



—2. 
HJO 



1 2 
I I I 



© 

H12 

o 

H13 



Biface preforms 




11 



46x63y 



HU • 



41x61y 



57. Area 2: distribution of biface preforms 



flakes in the same area (Figure 49), this might indicate 
some scraping/cutting functions were undertaken 
there. A schist tablet is associated with hearth 6 in the 
north lobe, while a hard slate whetstone lies adjacent to 
hearth 3a in the south lobe. These may have been asso- 
ciated with grinding slate or bone implements, but the 
implement at hearth 6 is only associated with a single 
ground slate flake, while hearth 3a is adjacent to sever- 
al ground slate flakes and tools. 

The stories told by tool raw material frequencies 
and weights are quite different (Tables 8 and 9). By fre- 



quency, the proportion of Ramah chert to quartz tools 
is 2;1 across all the subareas except for the middle, 
where they are even. This proportion would be much 
higher if quartz cores were eliminated from the fig- 
ures. By weight, however, quartz constitutes ca. 75% of 
the material in all subareas except the middle, where it 
is nearly 98%. This is much the same pattern as seen 
with the flakes (Tables 5 and 6), where Ramah chert is 
high in frequency but low in weight. 

At this point it would be useful to consider the 
tool distribution with the model-independent 



96 



CHAPTER 6 




approach, using /c-means derived groupings. To sup- 
plement the overall 9- and 12-cluster solutions pre- 
sented previously (Figure 37), a separate analysis of 
Area 2A was conducted. The best result is a 1 2-cluster 
solution (Figure 59) which is broadly similar to the 
overall Area 2 12-cluster solution, but some new clus- 
ters are split off. While this may be a slightly better 
grouping seen from the perspective of identifying 
hearth-centered distributions, some of the new small- 
er clusters may be spurious. However, as mentioned 
above, a serious problem is that the inadequate point- 



proveniencing of certain tool types limits the utility of 
point pattern analysis. We could try to group the 
quadrats according to the clusters defined by /(-means 
analysis, but we run into difficulties, since the 1 m^ 
quadrats can overlap different clusters, particularly in 
the more fine-grained 12-cluster solution. In an 
attempt to maintain some form of model-independent 
approach, the earlier 9-cluster solution (Figure 37) was 
chosen for illustrative purposes. This still poses some 
difficulties in that the clusters do not conform neatly to 
the quadrat boundaries, although the number of prob- 



NUKASUSUTOK-5 SPATIAL ANALYSIS 



97 




lem areas is relatively small. Difficult quadrats were 
assigned to a cluster based on degree of overlap and 
the relative density of plotted tools. The resulting clus- 
ter groupings are very similar to the model-based sub- 
areas, so it is questionable whether this approach pro- 
vides much information beyond that of the model- 
based analysis. Nonetheless, the resulting tool fre- 
quency distribution is presented in Table 10. 

The many low cell frequencies in Table 10 render 
analysis problematic, but Figure 60 presents a corre- 
spondence analysis plot to visualize possible varia- 



tions between the clusters. The clusters lie in a ring 
around the origin of the plot and their positioning rel- 
ative to the tool classes does not suggest groupings. 
There are minor differences between the clusters, but 
the variation only involves one or two tool classes and 
small numbers of items. Nuances can be identified by 
considering the cells for which observed frequencies 
depart somewhat from expected values. Bipolar cores 
are slightly over-represented in cluster 2 (south lobe, 
hearths 3a, b), concomitant with an under-representa- 
tion of quartz block cores. In cluster 9 (middle, with 



98 



CHAPTER 6 




overlaps from both lobes and the area east of the 
lobes), block cores and slate tool fragments are over- 
represented. There is a less-marked overweight of 
scrapers and bifacial projectile points in cluster 2 and 
of block cores and slate blanks in cluster 7 (east of the 
lobes). Cluster 8, lying at the northern "entrance" to 
the north lobe, exhibits a slight overweight of flake 
points. There is a slight over-representation of utilized 
flakes in cluster 9, but this does not seem terribly sig- 
nificant when the quadrat distribution pattern is 
inspected (Figure 49). There is also an over-represen- 



tation of ground slate flakes and unidentifiable slate 
tool fragments in cluster 9, particularly in association 
with hearth 4 (Figure 57). Ground slate flakes are also 
concentrated near hearth 5 (Cluster 2), although this is 
not statistically disproportional. 

If we consider tool raw material frequencies by 
cluster unit (Table 11), there are few differences 
between observed and expected frequencies other 
than somewhat more than expected quartz in cluster 7 
(east of the lobes)— mostly accounted for by cores— 
and a slight over-representation of quartz and slate 



NUKASUSUTOK-5: SPATIAL ANALYSIS 



99 




(treated generically) in cluster 9. For the latter, the 
quartz is accounted for by cores, while the slate con- 
sists of ground flakes— most of which are associated 
with the edge of the south lobe. Thus, the cluster- 
based division provides little information beyond that 
derived from the model-based units. 

In sum, the /c-means approach does not provide 
much information to supplement or contradict the 
model-based analysis. The 12-cluster solution for Area 



2A alone (Figure 59) provides a schematic overview of 
the hearth-centered distributions, while the "lumped" 9- 
cluster solution for Area 2 as a whole (Figure 37) indi- 
cates that the major and most stable clusters strongly 
parallel the divisions used in the model-based analyses. 
Clearly, however, the necessity of using large and 
coarsely grouped quadrats undermines the possibility 
of isolating patterns that might be revealed by more 
precise point-provenience analysis or smaller quadrats. 



100 



CHAPTER 6 



Table 8: Area 2A Tool Raw Material Frequencies by Model Units. 





iNurin LUDc 


IVIIUUIc LUUc 


3UUIII LUUc 




1 \J 1 ML 




IN (/o) 


IN y/o) 


IN \/o) 


IN \/a) 


IN ^/o; 


Qunrtz 




D.J (D^. D J 


^ 1^ ^ O') A\ 


1 Pi 11C\ 81 
ID \^\J .O J 


OVJ J . J/ 


Ramah chert 


AR (AF, ni 


/ . J ^ J J . 




^Pi (AF, 8\ 
3u V^D.O; 


1 "^R iAF ^1 
1 DO Vt'O . J ^ 


Gray MuQford 


J \J-->) 




J (. 1 .a; 






DidCK cneri 


iL \iL.iLj 




11 if, Q\ 




18 K ^1 


jIdLc lOldl 


\ A ^\ 


1 ^7 1 ^ 




1 J V 1 O • 




Gr66ri 


O 

o 


1 


1 c 


a 

D 




Gra,y 


1 

1 




? ? 

L. 


C 
J 


78 


D Q /H r^c/^\A/n 

Kcu Ui uwri 






1 

1 


7 


e. 

D 


Vjidy DdnUcU 


1 

1 




:3 






inuei. 


1 

1 




1 
1 




7 


Schist 


1 (1.1) 






4 (5.2) 


5 (1.5) 


Other 






1 (0.6) 


1 (1.3) 


2 (0.6) 


*.5 denotes a conjoining fragment 


Table 9: Area 2A Tool Raw Material Weights by Model Units. In Grams. 




North Lobe 


Middle Lobe 


South Lobe 


Other 




N (%) 


N (%) 


N (%) 


N 


(%) 


Quartz 


1751 (68.8) 


1161 (94.7) 


1759 (76.4) 


1475.6 


(58.2) 


Ramah chert 


284.2 (11.2) 


64.4 (5.3) 


302.3 (1 3.1) 


165 


(6.5) 


Black chert 


12 (0.5) 




32 (1.4) 


1 5 


(0.6) 


Gray Mugford 


25.3 (1.0) 




16 (0.7) 


4 


(0.2) 


Slate— total 


294.7 (11.6) 


0.3 (0.0) 


160.6 (7.0) 


1 55.1 


(6.1) 


Green 


111.5 


0.3 


98.7 


144.1 




Gray 


16 




19.8 


9.9 




Red-brown 


167 




3 


1.1 




Gray-banded 


0.2 




6.1 






Gray/schist 






33 






Schist 


177 (7.0) 




33 (1.4) 


554.5 


(21.9) 


Other 






0.3 (0.0) 


167 


(6.6) 



Distribution of Red Ocher and Bone Fragments 

Figure 61 depicts the distribution of red ocher 
stains and bone fragments. It is possible that more 
red ocher stains were present but went undocu- 
mented given the difficulty of identifying them in 



the very dark brown podzolized sand or because 
some were erased by deflation. Taking the data at 
hand, red ocher stains are found almost exclusively 
within the lobes, where they occur within or closely 
adjacent to hearths. Stains are associated with both 



NUKASUSUTOK-5: SPATIAL ANALYSIS 



101 



Table 10: Area 2A Tool Classes; Quadrats Grouped by K-Means Cluster. 





PT 


Bl 


PR 


FP 


sc 


UF 


SP 


CA 


SB 


ST 


BC 


CO 


TM 


OTH 


TOTAL 


Cluster 2 


7 


6 


2 


2 


1 1 


32 


2 


1 


4 


1 9.5* 


25 


3 


4 


2 


120.5 


Cluster 4 


0.5 


1 


1 


1 


2 


8 


2 




1 


2 


3 


3 






24.5 


Cluster 7 


3 


2 


1 


2 


2 


22 






4 


7 


1 3 


1 1 


2 


1 


70 


Cluster 8 


1 


4 


2 


5 


4 


20 






1 


6 


6 


8 


1 


1 


59 


Cluster 9 


1.5 


3 






3 


1 5 




2 


2 


16.5 


10 


1 2 




2 


67 


TOTAL 


13 


16 


6 


10 


22 


97 


4 


3 


12 


51 


57 


37 


7 


6 


341 



* .5 denotes a conjoining fragment 



PT: points (bifacial), Bl: bifaces, PR: preforms (biface), FP: flake points, SC: scrapers (endscrapers and 
flake knives), UF: utilized flakes, SP: slate points, CA: celt/adze, SB: slate blanks (unmodified plates and 
blanks), ST: slate tool fragments (ground slate flakes and unidentified tool fragments), BC: bipolar 
cores, CO: block cores (quartz), TM: tool manufacturing (hammerstones, schist tablets, whetstones), 
and OTH: other (stemmed flakes, linear flakes, graver). 



Table 1 1: Area 2A Tool Raw Material Frequencies by K-Means Cluster. 





Cluster 2 


Cluster 4 


Cluster 7 


Cluster 8 


Cluster 4 




N 


(%) 


N (%) 


N (%) 


N (%) 


N (%) 


Quartz 


22 


(18.3) 


4 (16.3) 


21 (30.0) 


13 (22.0) 


20 (29.9) 


Ramah chert 


55 


(45.6) 


13.5 (55.1) 


35 (50.0) 


33 (55.9) 


21.5 (32.1) 


Black chert 


10 


(8.3) 


1 (4.1) 




4 (6.8) 


3 (4.5) 


Cray Mugford 


3 


(2.5) 


1 (4.1) 


1 (1.4) 


1 (1.7) 


2 (3.0) 


Slate— total 


26.5 


(22.0) 


5 (20.4) 


11 (15.7) 


7 (11.9) 


19.5 (29.1) 


Green 


1 1 




3 


4 


3 


9 


Cray 


12.5 






5 


1 


8.5 


Red-brown 


1 




2 


2 


1 




Gray-banded 


2 








1 


1 


Gray/schist 


Indet. 1 1 


Schist 


3 


(2.5) 




2 (2.9) 


1 (1.7) 




Other 


1 


(0.8) 








1 (1.5) 


TOTAL 


120.5 




24.5 


70 


59 


67 


" .5 denotes a conjoining fragment 



surface and pit hearths, although they seem most lobe and two small stains just south of the south 

intensive with pit features. Deviating from this pat- lobe. No uncrushed ocher fragments were observed 

tern is a patch 1 m north of hearth 8 at the north at Area 2A. 



102 



CHAPTER 6 




The paucity of bone is a consequence of both 
taphonomic factors and recovery techniques. The 
extremely acidic soil (pH 4.0-5.0) destroyed all but a 
few fragments of highly calcined bone. On the other 
hand, it is possible that more fragments could have 
been recovered with fine-screening (only 1/4 inch 
mesh was used). All bone fragments at Area 2A are 
associated with the two lobes. At the north lobe, a sin- 
gle fragment is found in the pit of hearth 8, another 
single fragment lies 1 m to the southeast and another 
single piece lies between hearths 1 and 6. At the south 



lobe, six fragments are associated with hearth 5. None 
of these bone fragments could be identified to taxon. 

Feature-Centered Distributions, Size-Sorting, 
and Cultural Formation Processes 

Since the behavioral modules suggested in the Area 2A 
material might imply dwelling structures we should 
consider more explicitly the ethnoarchaeologically 
derived feature-centered models. As discussed in 
Chapter 3, we might expect to find different types of 
distribution patterns associated with exterior and inte- 



NUKASUSUTOK-5: SPATIAL ANALYSIS 



103 



53K84y 



50x84y 



47x83y 



CI 



53x76y 



50x7 1y 




Ground slate flakes and tool fragments 



44>i79y 



1^ 



o 



46x63y 



43x75y 



1 2 
I I I 



o © 



• <• 



41x67y 



Ground slate flakes and tool fragments 

(n) edge-struck flakes 




n 



11 



41x61y 



i 



57/ Area 2 distribution of ground slate flakes and ground tool fragments. 



rior hearths. In general, exterior hearths may have 
more extensive debris distributions with drop- and 
toss-zones characterized by size-sorting of cultural 
material: smaller items in the drop-zones adjacent to 
hearths, larger items in the toss-zones further away— 
a roughly concentric zonation. Interior hearths may 
exhibit an adjacent concentration of cultural material 
but may lack clear drop- and toss-zones because of 
periodic maintenance of dwelling interiors designed to 
prevent the accumulation of material in the sleeping 
areas near the dwelling walls. Maintenance of dwelling 



interiors may result in the development of exterior sec- 
ondary refuse deposits such as "door dumps" (Binford 
1983:177). Thus, instead of concentric size-sorting 
there is a distinction between small-sized items near 
interior hearths and larger items in exterior dumps. 

Evaluation of the total debitage distribution as 
well as distributions of individual raw materials does 
not indicate the concentric and gradual "distance 
decay" patterning expected at exterior hearths. 
Flakes are obviously clustered adjacent to hearths, 
but they are generally concentrated on one side of 



104 



CHAPTER 6 



53x84y 



50x84y 



53x76y 



50x7 1y 




47x83y 



Miscellaneous tools 

FSC= flake scraper/knife 
GSC= graver/scraper 
GST= grindstone 
HAM= hammerstone 
LFK= linear flake 
SFK= stemmed flake 
SHF= scfiist fragment 
SHT= schist tablet 
WHS= whetstone 



45x63y 



SH£ 



Miscellaneous tools 



FSC= flake scraper/knife 
GSC= graver/scraper 
GST= grindstone 
HAiVI= hammerstone 
LFK= linear flake 
SFK= stemmed flake 
SHF= schist fragment 
SHT= schist tablet 
WHS= whetstone 



41x61y 




58/ Area 2: distribution of miscellaneous tools. 



the hearths rather than forming a ring around them. 
The overall distributions are bounded in linear "lobe" 
patterns which, to some extent, may be the result of 
overlapping hearth-centered distributions. The outer 
edges of the lobes (particularly the southern one) are 
fairly sharp, suggestive of a boundary effect. At the 
same time, the inner edges of the lobes indicate cen- 
tral areas with minimal debitage accumulation, either 
a consequence of differential activity placement or 
maintenance of the central areas. The tool distribu- 
tion patterns are also closely linked to hearths, 



although the concentration of block cores in the 
"middle" and the area east of the lobes deviates from 
the overall pattern. 

If the overall configuration of the debitage and 
tool distributions seems more in line with an interior 
hearth model, what about the size-sorting criterion? 
One problem in assessing size-sorting is that lithics 
may be less sensitive to the discard and maintenance 
practices noted ethnoarchaeologically for bones and 
implements of organic materials, given much less vari- 
ation in size dimensions. Nonetheless, since lithics are 



NUKASUSUTOK-5: SPATIAL ANALYSIS 



105 




the only available data class their potential for reveal- 
ing relevant patterning should be explored. A distinc- 
tion between large/small tools and tool fragments was 
made with reference to a histogram of all tool maxi- 
mum lengths for Area 2. Given a skewed distribution 
with over 60% of the tools less than 40 mm long, small 
was defined as <39.9 mm, large as >40.0 mm. Given 
the relatively small number of tools and their variable 
numbers across the units, it did not seem advisable to 
calculate a size-sorting index. Instead, a subjective 
evaluation was made in which units with either high 
absolute numbers of large tools or high proportions of 
large to small tools were identified and marked on 
Figure 62. At the north lobe, units with large tools lie 
between hearths 7 and 8, adjacent to hearths 2 and 6, 
and associated with possible hearth 1 9. The latter con- 
centration is strongly affected by the presence of sev- 
eral quartz block cores. There are no units with con- 
centrations of large tools outside the open northern 
side of the lobe, as might be expected from a "door 



dump." At the south lobe, a unit with large tools is 
directly associated with hearths 3a and 3b while anoth- 
er lies in the relatively debitage-free "corridor" between 
hearths 3a and 4. Large tool units also occur at both 
the eastern and western edges of the middle area. 
Most of the large implements on the eastern side are 
unused quartz block cores. As discussed previously, 
these may represent a raw material cache rather than 
a discard dump. In sum, there is little evidence for the 
systematic removal of larger tools from within the 
modules to secondary deposits elsewhere. 

Debitage might also have been subject to mainte- 
nance related size-sorting, especially quartz, the expe- 
dient reduction of which produced a wide array of 
large chunks. Quartz chunks might be more annoying 
on a dwelling floor than small Ramah chert retouch 
flakes and the larger quartz fragments would be easi- 
er to collect and discard outside a dwelling. However, 
size-sorted patterns of debitage might also reflect the 
spatial staging of lithic reduction sequences. Initial 



106 



CHAPTER 6 




▲ Tool class 
• Cluster 


1.5- 
CO^ 1.0- 










Axis 1 (38.4%) 


0.5- 

9 7' 

-1.0. .OTH 

^ 1 




^PR 






-3.0 -2.0 




1.0 

■*H 


2.0 

1 


3.0 
1 


1 1 


ST^ BC^ 

-0.5- 

-1.0- 
-1.5- 


'SB 
. 2 

PT 


4 


^SP 






Axis 2 (33.5%) 









60/ Area 2A: correspondence analysis plot of tool classes byk-means cluster, based on 
the overall Area 2 nine-cluster solution. 



ing the associated tool context. 
Reduction related size-sorting 
might be indicated by associa- 
tions between block cores and 
larger debitage fragments and 
bipolar cores and smaller deb- 
itage fragments, while mainte- 
nance related size-sorting 
might be signaled by the co- 
occurrence of both core types 
and larger debitage sizes. If all 
reduction stages occurred at 
the same locale the entire range 
of core types and debitage sizes 
would be present. 

Investigation of quartz 
size-sorting was undertaken by 



reduction of quartz block cores resulting in the pro- 
duction of large fragments might occur in one area, 
then some of those fragments could be removed to 
another location for further bipolar reduction, produc- 
ing a concentration of small fragments. Nonetheless, it 
might be possible to distinguish between maintenance 
related and reduction related size-sorting by consider- 



calculating a size-sorting index (SSI; Wandsnider 1996, 
see Chapter 3) for each of the 1 m^ quadrats at Area 
2A. The SSI summarizes the representation of small 
and large items in a quadrat, with high negative values 
indicating a dominance of large items, high positive 
values a dominance of small items, and values near 
indicating a mixture of sizes. The large and small flake 



NUKASUSUTOK-5: SPATIAL ANALYSIS 



107 



o 

H11 



OH17 



Units with concentrations of large tools 




H9 



H)2 



H15 



o 

0.11 



0.01 -i^ 



0.85 (jO.S? 



0.03 
0.11 



■0,08 



-0.81 



o.-ts 



-0.01 

') 



0.36 
-0.36 



Size-sorting index (SSI) 

predominance of large quartz flakes 
predominance of small quartz flakes 



u 



-0.02 

11 



62/ Area 2: size distribution of tools and quartz flakes. 



categories were constructed with reference to a line 
graph of quartz flake sizes for Area 2 as a whole. 
Around 85% of the flakes were <35 mm in size and the 
graph flattened out markedly above 35 mm, so "large" 
was defined as >35 mm. Figure 62 displays the size- 
sorting indices; units dominated by small or large 
flakes are highlighted. At the north lobe there is a unit 
with predominantly small flakes that lies between 
hearths 2, 7 and 8. On its northern flank are three 
units with a predominance of large flakes; two of these 
also have significant numbers of large tools, as does 



one unit to the southwest. Hearth 6 lies in one of the 
aforementioned units dominated by large flakes, but 
adjacent units to the north and east are dominated by 
small flakes. Hearth 1 is situated in a unit with prima- 
rily large flakes and adjacent to a unit in the middle 
subarea with mainly large tools (quartz cores). One 
unit north of the north lobe (49x79y) has a preponder- 
ance of large flakes, but its location in the area of 
probable overlap between Areas 2a and 2b renders it 
problematic. At the south lobe the unit containing 
hearth 3a is dominated by large quartz flakes while an 



108 



CHAPTER 6 















1 






1 




6 


2 


1 


1 






1 






Total biface-thinning flakes 


1 








2 




11 




3 


6 






1 












4 


5 


1 




3 






2 




4 








3 






2 






2 


7 


1 


2 














2 




2 


1 




:c 


) 


4 


2 






■ 






7 


7 






2 


1 










2 






-( 




8 














4 


8 


21 


2 






7 












\ 




1 

o 


14 




1 




5 


5 


9 


19 










1 






^ 


4 


20 ^ 




4 


3 


3 


7 


9 


24 


16 


















6 


@ 


3 


1 




63 


22 


12 


5 












5 


2 


7 


5 


0" 


7 




30 


a:: 










1 




2 


3 


9 


10 




1 






1 






1 


2 


5 










6 






6 


67 


65 


25 C 


9 




L 




( 


) 




3 


2 


1^ 


2 . 




1 


















14 




2 


i 












6 


11 


24 


9 


c 






2 








2 




1 


2 


1 


2 


2 








( 


. 








1 


2 
















1 


2 




















































































































1 




















































Large (>30mm) biface-thinning flakes 














1 


























1 




t 
























































1 






c 












■ 














1 


1 


















:> 
















1 - 


























o 


T 








2 


2 


1 


3 
















/ 








(J 








2 


4 
















1 










10 


7 


3 


1 












1 






1 


_ 1 


2 


10 


























































2 


4 


5 


3 C 


) 








( 


) 












_^1 




4 
















2 





















2 


4 


4 
















1 








1 












( 




























1 




























































1 



































































63/ /Area 2: distribution of Ramah chert biface-thinning flal<es. 



adjacent unit is dominated by small flakes; both these 
units also contain significant numbers of large tools. 
Two units on opposite sides of hearth 5 have a tenden- 
cy towards mostly small flakes, while one nearby unit 
at the western entrance of the middle subarea has a 
concentration of large tools. An interesting pattern is 
the presence of three units with large flakes just out- 
side the eastern edge of the middle subarea, accompa- 
nied by three units near that edge with concentrations 
of large tools (mostly quartz cores). This distribution 
suggests that quartz blocks cached in the middle sub- 



area may have been reduced in a location immediately 
to the east; the cores may have been reduced mostly 
by direct percussion (there are few bipolar cores), 
which produced relatively large flakes. 

The bounded nature of the overall flake distribu- 
tions has already been used to argue against an exte- 
rior hearth model. It is clear that the size-sorting data 
do not fit very well with the expectations of the exteri- 
or model: concentric zones of small items in drop 
zones near the hearths, larger items in more distant 
toss zones. Only the area around hearth 8 in the north 



NUKASUSUTOK-5: SPATIAL ANALYSIS 



109 



lobe appears to conform. Hearth 3a at the south lobe 
actually exhibits the opposite pattern: large quartz 
flakes and tools adjacent to the hearths, small flakes 
somewhat distant. This opposite pattern may repre- 
sent spatial differences in the staging of quartz reduc- 
tion: initial direct percussion adjacent to the hearth, 
selection of desired fragments, then bipolar reduction 
conducted a short distance from the hearth. Hearth 5 
at the south lobe is ambiguous; it lies beside two units 
with a preponderance of small quartz flakes, one of 
which (44x74y) is adjacent to a more hearth-distant 
unit with a very slight tendency towards larger flake 
sizes. One of these hearth-adjacent units (44x74y) also 
contained the largest concentration of small Ramah 
chert flakes at Area 2. 

Nor do these data provide much clear evidence for 
maintenance related size-sorting. Within the north lobe 
there are four or five units with predominantly large 
quartz flakes and three or four units with large tools. 
The south lobe has less in the way of large quartz 
flakes, but has three units with many large tools. 
Besides the area directly east of the middle zone, there 
are no units outside the lobes with concentrations of 
large tools or flakes that might suggest dumps. Thus, 
the general impression is that if the lobes represent 
dwelling structures there was not much effort devoted 
to maintenance in the form of removing large-sized 
lithic clutter (although the floors could be the result of 
less fastidious pre-abandonment behavior [Stevenson 
1991]). In sum, the quartz flake size-sorting data are 
ambiguous, but there are indications that some of the 
variation might be related to spatial positioning of 
reduction stages. 

A final variable that might point to maintenance 
activity is the distribution of thermally altered (patinat- 
ed) Ramah chert flakes. These flakes must have been 
transformed by direct contact with hearth areas, so 
their occurrence in locations distant from hearths 
would indicate secondary deposition. Figure 42 indi- 
cates that patinated Ramah chert is strongly associat- 
ed with hearths and that secondary deposits are most- 



ly within an arm's length of a hearth. A concentration 
occurs outside the northern end of the north lobe, but 
it is possible that this is associated with the activities 
that produced the fire-cracked rock concentrations at 
Area 2B. Otherwise, several patinated flakes occur in 
the exterior area to the east of the south lobe. These 
might indicate dumping, but a cluster of rocks at the 
edge of the excavation (Figure 35) could represent a 
hearth. In sum, the distribution of thermally altered 
Ramah chert does not provide much evidence for 
maintenance activity at Area 2A. 

Refitting 

Up to this point, micro-scale analysis has been used to 
establish the presence of two behavioral modules. It is 
now time to consider the meso-scale question of their 
relationship to each other and to other parts of Area 
2A by looking at lithic refitting patterns. If we consid- 
er broken tools, virtually all conjoining tool fragments 
are found nearby each other within the same quadrat. 
The only cross-quadrat refits are two fragments of a 
leaf-shaped (bipointed) biface that reconnect between 
the southwestern portion of the north lobe and the 
edge of the south lobe and the middle subarea (Figure 
50), a quartz block core with one piece in the inner 
portion of the north lobe and its conjoining piece at 
the northern end of the lobe (Figure 47), and two 
ground slate flakes joining between the inside of the 
south lobe and the area to the east of that lobe (Figure 
57). The latter connection between the south lobe and 
eastern exterior area parallels previous observations of 
similarities between the two areas in slate flake raw 
materials and quartz/Ramah chert proportions. 

To supplement this meager evidence an attempt 
was made to refit the quartz block cores with some of 
the larger quartz "chunks" from the debitage. This 
proved to be futile, perhaps due to insufficient effort, 
but also because of the tendency for quartz to be 
found either as minimally modified block cores, bipo- 
lar cores, or thoroughly shattered flakes, such that 
there were few easily refitted intermediate forms. A 



110 



CHAPTER 6 




more systematic refitting study of the Area 2A materi- 
al might help clarify the spatial organization of the 
site, but the bulk of the evidence at hand suggests the 
two lobes were behaviorally independent units. 

Putting the Pieces Together 

The multiple lines of evidence presented so far sug- 
gest the two lobes are distinct behavioral modules that 
share similar general activity patterns, but which vary 
somewhat in tool types and raw material use. Both 
modules exhibit similar patterns of debitage distribu- 
tion, each have roughly the same number of hearths 
and the hearths are positioned similarly at opposite 
ends of the modules, although the north lobe also has 
a central hearth. Defined in relation to the debitage 
distributions the modules are of very similar size: ca. 
4 by 3 m. The sharply bounded debitage distributions 
and the lack of the concentric drop/toss-zone pattern 



hypothesized to characterize external hearths could 
suggest the modules were associated with tent 
dwellings. The lack of refits between the modules indi- 
cates a degree of behavioral independence. Two alter- 
native dwelling configurations can be considered. 

The first alternative (Figure 64) considers the 
sharp external bounding of the debitage lobes to be 
the consequence of a tent wall edge-effect and postu- 
lates two separate dwelling modules on the north and 
south sides of the large central rock. In this scenario 
debitage deposition is concentrated along the tent 
walls, extending 1 .0-1 .2 m from the walls towards the 
middle of the dwelling. Most of the hearths are locat- 
ed rather close to the postulated dwelling walls (ca. 0.5 
m), with the exception of hearth 2 (centrally located) 
and hearths 4 and 16 (ca. 1 m from the wall). In the 
middle is a low flake/tool density area, which in the 
north lobe is 0.5-1.0 by 3.0 m in size (although it is 



NUKASUSUTOK-5: SPATIAL ANALYSIS 



N 




Depression ■ Flake 



65/ Area 2A: rectangular structure interpretation. 



punctuated by hearth 2) and in the south lobe 0.7-1.0 
by 2.5 m. These central spaces were either used for 
activities that did not accumulate lithic refuse (e.g., 
sleeping) or were kept clean by maintenance proce- 
dures (which did not result in lithic size-sorting). 
Openings at the northern ends of each lobe might indi- 
cate entrances. The hearth locations might suggest 
that certain practices were focused on the inner and 
outer portions of the dwellings. 

Although the modules seem to be independent 
behavioral units, the overall similarities and symme- 
tries in spatial patterning are striking. At the macro- 
scale level, the modules might represent independent 
structures deliberately aligned in tandem with the 
large flat central rock as a spatial fulcrum point. The 
clustering of rocks in the middle subarea on both the 
eastern and western sides of the large central rock 
might indicate deliberate placement with reference to 



two contemporary structures. This apparent common 
conceptual plan could imply a cooperative relationship 
between two households. The dwellings were not phys- 
ically connected, but the total living space would have 
measured 10 by 3 m in size and run north-south par- 
allel to the beach front. 

There are several objections to this alternative. 
First, some of the apparent boundaries in the flake dis- 
tribution patterns might be the result of wind deflation 
and redeposition processes. The possible superposi- 
tion noted near the eastern edge of the south lobe 
might also be attributable to such processes. 
Additionally, the descriptive overview presented in 
Chapter 5 noted the presence of several depressions at 
Area 2A that might indicate deflation; two of these are 
directly associated with the south lobe (Figure 64). 
Depression 5 cuts across the middle of the lobe in an 
east-west direction; its orientation cannot account for 



112 



CHAPTER 6 



the empty "corridor space" in the lobe, although it 
might have contributed to the accumulation of flakes 
near hearth 4. Depression 6 lies beside hearth 5; it is 
filled with flakes and seems to contribute little to accu- 
mulation or smearing of the distribution. Although less 
obvious aeolian formation effects cannot be ruled out, 
the similar configuration of both lobes suggests there 
is some integrity to the pattern. On the other hand, 
neither size-sorting patterns nor the distribution of 
patinated Ramah chert suggest the operation of main- 
tenance practices that might have been responsible for 
creating bounded distributions. 

Perhaps a more significant objection is the spatial 
structure. The floor areas are rather small: 12-15 m^. 
That is not unusual for hunter-gatherer tent dwellings, 
but the small area is punctuated by multiple hearths 
and the cleared central areas are of extremely limited 
dimensions (0.5-1.0 by 3.0 m, 0.7-1.0 by 2.5 m) such 
that very few people could be accommodated. The 
proximity of several hearths to the hypothesized 
dwelling walls is problematic given the potential for 
igniting a tent covering. Additionally, the spatial con- 
figuration is different from most of the ethnographic 
and archaeological examples discussed in Chapter 3, 
in which hearths and debris accumulations are situat- 
ed towards the center of the dwellings and the cleared 
living space is positioned at the sides or the back. 

In sum, the multiple hearths raise the problem of 
feature contemporaneity, thus challenging the behav- 
ioral unity of the modules. 

The second alternative also sees the two modules 
as components of separate dwellings, but it requires a 
gestalt switch to see them as parts of larger rectangu- 
lar structures extending east-west, parallel to each 
other and perpendicular to the beach front (Figure 65). 
In this scenario the linear arms of the lobes are activi- 
ty concentrations that divide the rectangular structures 
into segments in a manner consistent with the long- 



house model. The south lobe provides the best illustra- 
tion of this interpretation, although it implies a struc- 
ture that extends beyond the western boundary of the 
excavation. The north-south ends of the south lobe 
define the width of the structure (3.7-4.0 m). The 
northern end of the structure is indicated by the drop- 
off in flake density between 47-48x, which occurs 
short of the large boulders in 48-49x71 y that consti- 
tute a natural limit for a dwelling, and by a set of small- 
er rocks in 47x71 -72y that arc along the edge of the 
flake density shift and which might be tent anchor 
rocks. Some of the rocks in the "middle" subarea might 
relate to the northern wall of the dwelling, while the 
south side lacks indications of wall rocks. The overall 
length of the structure is at least 6 meters and it con- 
tains at least three segments separated by the two lin- 
ear lithic concentrations associated with hearths. Two 
hearths lie within 50 cm of the north wall and two are 
a similar distance from the south wall; the fifth lies 1 .2 
m in from the south wall. Lithic reduction activities and 
tool deposition are concentrated in the area within and 
between the lobe arms; the eastern and western flanks 
or segments have markedly fewer flakes and tools and 
could therefore be sleeping areas. Refits of two sets of 
ground slate flakes between the center of the lobe and 
the eastern flank or segment provide a behavioral link- 
age consistent with this interpretation. 

The north lobe provides a weaker exemplification 
of the interpretation. Its eastern boundary abuts 
directly on several large boulders that are natural 
dwelling limits. The sparse flake distribution towards 
the west is not inconsistent with the interpretation, 
but it is too meager to be strongly convincing. A 
dwelling of 3.7-4.0 m in width and at least 5 m in 
length is implied. Two hearths are located within 50 
cm of the south wall while two are positioned 1.2-1.5 
m in from the north wall. A fifth hearth is centrally 
located between the lobe arms. A possible sixth 



4Th e wall-centered deposition would be most like the pattern noted at one of the Ungava Bay Late Dorset longhouses (Figure 
13b; Plumet 1985). 



NUKASUSUTOK-5: SPATIAL ANALYSIS 



hearth lies 50 cm from the north wall. This configura- 
tion implies that the eastern end of the dwelling was 
the focus of lithic reduction and tool deposition 
around the hearths while the western portion was an 
open area with little depositional activity. 
Consequently, in contrast to the hypothesized south- 
ern dwelling, the northern structure was divided into 
two clearly contrasting sides: an eastern portion with 
hearth activity and lithic reduction and a western por- 
tion with minimal deposition, perhaps a sleeping area. 
Along the south wall a tongue of flakes protrudes 
slightly into the middle subarea just west of the large 
central rock, suggesting an extension of deposition 
outside the dwelling (perhaps a doorway?). 

The segmented structure alternative requires a 
slight reorganization of the previously presented data. 
Table 12 outlines the distribution of tool classes with 
the excavation units grouped as closely as possible to 
the hypothesized rectangular structures. A chi-square 
test indicates no significant differences in tool class 
representation between the two structures at the .05 
level (-/^ = 21.53); but note the many low cell values). 
Looking at the expected frequencies, flake points and 
block cores are over-represented at the northern struc- 
ture while ground slate flakes and tool fragments are 



over-represented at the southern structure. Tool raw 
material frequencies and weights (Table 13) exhibit 
broadly similar proportions at the two structures; as 
far as frequencies are concerned, there is no statisti- 
cally significant difference between the structures 

= 7.48). Slate is proportionally greater by frequen- 
cy at the southern structure, but slightly greater by 
weight at the northern structure. Table 14 compares 
the flake raw materials. In relation to expected fre- 
quencies, quartz is over-represented at the northern 
structure and Ramah chert is over-represented at the 
southern structure. Among the slates, gray slate dom- 
inates by frequency at the northern structure while 
both gray and green slates are well represented at the 
southern structure. By weight, quartz dominates at 
both structures, although there is a substantial weight 
percent of Ramah chert (28%) at the southern struc- 
ture. The frequency dominance of gray slate at the 
northern structure is offset by relatively even propor- 
tions of gray and green slate by weight. Consequently, 
although there is variation between the hypothesized 
segmented dwellings, there are no grounds to posit 
distinct contrasts in social practices. 

This second interpretation of the modules is sub- 
ject to the same objections as the first. Changing the 



Table 12: Area 2A Tool Classes by Hypothesized Rectangular Structure 





PT 


Bl 


PR 


FP 


sc 


UF 


SP 


CA 


SB 


ST 


BC 


CO 


TM 


OTH 


TOTAL 


North 


2.5 


6 


3 


7 


7 


28 


2 


2 


2 


9 


14 


14 


1 


1 


98.5 


South 


8 


8 


2 


3 


1 1 


51 


2 


1 


7 


39.5 


35 


12.5 


2 


3 


185 


TOTAL 


10.5 


14 


5 


10 


18 


79 


4 


3 


9 


48.5 


49 


26.5 


3 


4 


283.5 



•■ .5 denotes a conjoining fragment 



PT: points (bifacial), Bl: bifaces, PR: preforms (biface), FP: flake points, SC: scrapers (endscrapers and 
flake knives), UF: utilized flakes, SP: slate points, CA: celt/adze, SB: slate blanks (unmodified plates and 
blanks), ST: slate tool fragments (ground slate flakes and unidentified tool fragments), BC: bipolar 
cores, CO: block cores (quartz), TM: tool manufacturing (hammerstones, schist tablets, whetstones), 
and OTH: other (stemmed flakes, linear flakes, graver). 



114 



CHAPTER 6 



Table 13: Area 2A Tool Raw Material Frequencies and Weights (in grams) 
by Hypothesized Rectangular Structure 







North 




North 




South 




South 




N 




Wt (a) 




N 




Wt (a) 


(%) 


Quartz 


24 


(24.4) 


1 869.0 


(69.8) 


39.5 


(21.4) 


1 923.5 


(72.3) 


Ramah chert 


51.5* 


(52.3) 


292.2 


(10.9) 


78 


(42.2) 


341 .3 


(12.8) 


Cray Mugford chert 


4 


(4.1) 


28.3 


(1.1) 


4 


(2.2) 


16.0 


(0.6) 


Black chert 


3 


(3.0) 


1 5.0 


(0.6) 


1 2 


(6.5) 


33.0 


(1.2) 


Slate— total 


1 5 


(1 5.2) 


294.8 


(1 1.0) 


49.5 


(26.8) 


1 78.6 


(6.7) 


Green 


9 




1 1 1 .6 




1 7 




1 07.7 




Gray 


1 




16.0 




26.5 




61 .3 




Red-brown 


3 




167.0 




2 




3.5 




Gray-banded 


1 




0.2 




3 




6.1 




Indet. 


1 




n.a. 




1 




n.a. 




Schist 


1 


(1.0) 


1 77.0 


(6.6) 










Other 










2 


n 1 ) 


1 67.3 


(6 31 


TOTAL 


98.5 








185 








* .5 denotes a conjoining 


fragment 















gestalt does not resolve the problem of multiple 
hearths within a small area, with their potential impli- 
cation of re-occupation. The modules present interest- 
ing patterns, but their interpretation is problematic. 

Consumption of Lithic Raw Materials and 
Technological Organization. 

Given the presence of two behavioral modules and 
possible rectangular structures we can consider what 
might be inferred about variations in raw material 
consumption and the spatial dimension of techno- 
logical organization. The undifferentiated "other" 
subarea used in the previous analyses is now subdi- 
vided so as to accommodate the rectangular 
dwelling interpretation: quadrats associated with the 
hypothesized rectangular dwellings are categorized 
as "north-other" or "south-other" while the remaining 
units are classed as "other." Thus, the north lobe and 
north-other taken together constitute the northern 
rectangular structure and the south lobe and south- 



other constitute the southern rectangular structure. 
Table 1 5 provides a breakdown of total raw material 
weights (tools and flakes) by spatial position at Area 
2A. Quartz is used prodigiously: 6 kg at the north 
lobe (6.4 kg for the northern rectangular structure) 
and ca. 4.5 kg at the south lobe (4.8 kg for the 
southern rectangular structure). In contrast, the total 
quantity of Ramah chert consumed (or discarded) at 
each lobe/structure is quite modest, although the 
figure for the south lobe (1 .6 kg) is over double that 
of the north lobe (0.7 kg), as is the figure for the 
southern structure (2.3 kg) versus the northern 
structure (0.8 kg). Fine-grained cherts are rare 
and/or highly conserved, with a total of only 49 g 
discarded at the north lobe/structure and 76 g at the 
south lobe/structure. Slate is also used quite mod- 
estly, with ca. 0.4 kg used at the north lobe/struc- 
ture and 0.5 kg at the south lobe/structure. Slate 
type weights vary spatially, however: while both 
lobes use roughly similar amounts of green slate, the 



NUKASUSUTOK-5: SPATIAL ANALYSIS 



Table 14: Area 2A Flake Raw Material Frequencies and Weights (in grams) 
by Hypothesized Rectangular Structure 





North 




North 




South 




South 




N (%) 


Wt (g) 


(%) 


N 


(%) 


Wt (g) 


(%) 


Quartz 


1273 (46.8) 


4678.0 


(87.2) 


1214 


(24.3) 


4035.2 


(65.3) 


Ramah chert 


1 228 (45.2) 


558.2 


(1 0.4) 


3322 


(66.6) 


1 732.0 


(28.0) 


Patinated Ramah 


44 (1.6) 


1 9.9 


(0.4) 


84 


(1 .7) 


49.2 


(0.8) 


Gray Mugford chert 


20 (0.7) 


4.0 


(0.1 ) 


38 


(0.8) 


9.6 


(0.2) 


Black chert 


21 (0.8) 


3.9 


(0.1 ) 


38 


(0.8) 


1 9.7 


(0.3) 


Green Mugford 








2 


(0.0) 


0.2 


(0.0) 


Slate— total 


133 (4.9) 


99.5 


(1 .9) 


291 


(5.8) 


330.7 


(5.4) 


Beige 


7 


1 .3 




2 1 




6.1 




Green 


1 1 


39.3 




1 1 




1 73.1 




Gray 


1 03 


36.0 




1 52 




1 46.9 




Gray-banded 


8 


3.0 






0.1 






Red-brown 


3 


0.9 




3 




2.5 




Indet. 


1 


19.0 




5 




2.0 




TOTAL 


2719 






4989 








.5 denotes a conjoining fragment 



south lobe uses much more gray slate and the north 
lobe more red-brown slate. 

The variations in the quantity of quartz and 
Ramah chert outlined in Table 12 point to slight dif- 
ferences in raw material management and discard 
practices at the two modules. Practices related to one 
of the materials, however, cannot be directly compared 
with those related to the other since they constitute 
different kinds of reduction systems. Quartz was 
reduced both by free-hand percussion on raw blocks 
and bipolar percussion, while Ramah chert was organ- 
ized in a bifacial reduction system based on large pre- 
forms. A summary of the products of each reduction 
system is presented in Table 16. 

As far as quartz is concerned, the total weight of 
the material is greater in the north lobe. Both lobes 
have about the same amount of flakes and block 
cores. The south lobe has somewhat more tools, but 
this is largely a consequence of the frequency of bipo- 
lar cores, of which there are twice as many at the south 



lobe as at the north. This might suggest less intensive 
reduction at the north lobe without the discard of 
intermediate stage bipolar cores, or simply greater 
reliance on direct percussion rather than the bipolar 
technique. As noted earlier, the spatial distribution of 
cores IS sometimes independent of the debitage. 
Several block cores occur in the debitage-poor middle 
subarea, seemingly cached or dumped there unrelated 
to m situ reduction. Just east of the middle area there 
are several bipolar cores that are independent of both 
block cores and quartz debitage, which suggests they 
are secondary refuse. Otherwise, the core/debitage 
associations are suggestive of primary refuse from in 
situ reduction. 

For Ramah chert, the inhabitants of the south 
lobe consumed over twice as much material by weight 
as those of the north lobe, with a corresponding dif- 
ference in flake production. The quantities of biface 
fragments and preforms are similar, while the south 
lobe has three times the quantity of bifacial points, 



116 



CHAPTER 6 



Table 15: Area 2A Total Lithic Raw Material Weights (Tools and Flakes) 
by Model Units. Rounded to the Nearest Gram. 





North Lobe 


North-Oth 


Middle 


South Lobe 


South-Oth 


Other 




g 


(%) 


g 


(%) 


g (%) 


g 


(%) 


g 


(%) 


g (%) 


Quartz 


6072 


(83.3) 


369 


(78.5) 


1 244 (94.5) 


4483 


(67.5) 


337 


(28.2) 


2438 (83.6) 


Ramah chert 


757 


(10.4) 


91 


(19.4) 


72 (5.5) 


1608 (24.2) 


723 


(60.5) 


339 (1 1 .6) 


Patinated Ramah 20 


(0.3) 


1 


(0.2) 




45 


(0.7) 


5 


(0.4) 


5 (0.2) 


Black chert 


1 5 


(0.2) 


3 


(0.6) 




47 


(0.7) 


3 


(0.3) 


1 1 (0.4) 


Gray Mugford 


28 


(0.4) 


3 


(0.6) 




22 


(0.3) 


2 


(0.2) 


0.1 (0.0) 


Green Mugford 
















2 


(0.2) 




Slate— total 


394 


(5.4) 


3 


(0.6) 


0.2 (0.0) 


435 


(6.6) 


123 


(10.3) 


122 (4.2) 


green 


1 57 




0.1 




2 


233 




55 




1 1 5 


gray 


49 




3 




1 86 


51 




5 






beige 


1 






5 


1 4 1 












red-brown 


167 






4 


3 1 












gray-banded 


1 






5 


0.1 












indet. 


19 






2 














Schist 


744 






555 


1 79 












Other 






167 


167 















consistent with the differences in overall raw material 
and flake quantities. On the other hand, despite hav- 
ing twice the amount of raw material, the south lobe 
has only ca. 30% more tools than the north lobe; this 
disparity suggests that some tools or preforms were 
produced for curation to other localities. At both 
lobes 70-75% of the discarded Ramah chert tools 
could be considered expedient (i.e., utilized flakes, 
flake knives, flake points), while 24-25% are curatable 
bifaces. Unlike quartz, bipolar cores of Ramah chert 
do not represent a fundamental part of the reduction 
system. Instead, they are most likely the product of 
recycling tool fragments. A chi-square test indicates 
there is no significant difference in the frequencies of 
quartz and Ramah chert bipolar cores between the 
subareas (/^ = 0.46). 

The distribution of Ramah chert bifaces and pre- 
forms may be more a consequence of discard behav- 
iour than an indication of activity areas or spatial stag- 
ing in tool production. A variable that may be more 

NUKASUSUTOK-5: SPATIAL ANALYSIS 



sensitive to tracking the spatial positioning of biface 
reduction is the distribution of biface-thinning flakes 
(BTFs). Archaeological data from quarry and site con- 
texts (Cramly 1 978; Lazenby 1 980, 1 984) indicate that 
Ramah chert was often transported in the form of large 
bifaces and preforms. Reduction of these implements 
produces large quantities of BTFs and variation in the 
size of these flakes is partly related to reduction stage. 
The spatial concentration of BTFs of different sizes 
may therefore indicate spatial staging in biface reduc- 
tion. The approach is not without its methodological 
problems (Andrefsky 1998:118), however, and the 
effects of maintenance activity on size-sorting must be 
considered. 

All excavation units with significant quantities of 
Ramah chert produced considerable numbers of BTFs 
(defined following House and Ballenger 1976; Raab et 
al. 1979). In order to set a size threshold for identify- 
ing the products of initial stage biface reduction, a 
"large" thinning flake category was defined as flakes 

1 1 7 



Table 16: Summary of the Quartz and Ramah Chert Reduction Systems at Area 2A 



QUARTZ 





Tools 


Block Cores 


Bipolar 


Flakes 


Total Weight (g) 


North lobe 


23 


12 


9 


1 1 59 


6072 


North-other 


1 




1 


114 


369 


Middle 


5.5* 


4.5 




63 


1 244 


South lobe 


35.5 


14.5 


21 


1065 


4483 


South-other 


4 


1 


1 


1 54 


555 


Other 


12 


6 


3 


165 


2438 



RAMAH CHERT 





Tools 


Points 


Biface. 
Frags. 


Preforms 


Bipolar 
Cores 


Biface 
Thinning 


Flakes 


Total 
Weight (g) 


North Lobe 


48.5* 


2.5 


6 


3 


4 


1 1 1 


1 1 39 


757 


North-other 


3 










1 3 


131 


91 


Middle 


7.5 


0.5 


2 






9 


44 


64 


South Lobe 


66 


8 


6 


2 


8 


341 


2705 


1608 


South-other 


14 


1 


1 




2 


104 


688 


505 


Other 


18 


1 




1 


5 


59 


369 


339 



.5 denotes a conjoining fragment 



with one dimension in excess of 30 mm. This limit was 
not entirely arbitrary in that: a) the overall Ramah chert 
flake size distribution falls mostly less than 25 mm, 
and b) observations from prehistoric workshops and 
experimental reduction of Ramah chert bifaces sug- 
gests that the reduction of large transportable quarry 
blanks and biface preforms will probably produce con- 
siderable debitage in the over 30 mm size range. 

Figure 63 indicates that the distribution of large 
and small BTFs is fairly consistent with the overall dis- 
tribution of Ramah chert flakes, since units with sever- 
al BTFs tend to be units with relatively many Ramah 
chert flakes, although this is not always the case. By fre- 
quency, most of the BTFs are found in the south lobe, 
which also has the most Ramah chert debitage. The 
overall distributions of small and large BTFs are similar 
and most of the major concentrations of each size class 



occur adjacent to hearths. An exception to the latter is 
the cluster of BTFs in 46x74y near the northeast corner 
of the south lobe; this was also a locus of quartz reduc- 
tion. There is also a slight concentration of BTFs in the 
area east of the lobes, particularly at the eastern end of 
the hypothesized southern structure. By and large, the 
distribution of BTFs is consistent with the distributions 
of bifacial points and preforms, except in the area east 
of the lobes where there are relatively few implements 
in relation to the number of BTFs. In sum, there is not 
much evidence for spatial variations in the staging of 
Ramah chert reduction. Tool production and discard 
generally are spatially associated, except in the area 
east of the lobes where production activity is associat- 
ed with minimal tool discard. 

Fine-grained cherts (mostly gray Mugford and 
black chert) occur in minor quantities by frequency 



118 



CHAPTER 6 



and weight and the size of the debitage is uniformly 
small (see Chapter 9). This does not mean that these 
materials were insignificant; their near-exclusive use 
for endscrapers implies a high degree of selectivity. 
The three bipolar cores of these materials likely repre- 
sent recycled tool fragments. The spatial distribution 
of both tools and flakes made from these cherts is 
strongly, though not exclusively, limited to within the 
two lobes. 

Slates exhibit distribution patterns that are gener- 
ally similar to the fine-grained cherts, but slate pro- 
cessing and discard is not as spatially restricted. 
Finished slate tools and fragments thereof are all 
found within the lobes as are the majority of ground 
slate flakes, which represent the reworking of finished 
tools. However, several ground slate flakes and two 
blanks lie outside the south lobe in what would be the 
eastern end of the hypothesized southern structure; 
two of the ground flakes conjoin with pieces within the 
south lobe. Otherwise, modified plates of slate raw 
material and tool blanks occur both within and outside 
the lobes. Slate flakes of all color types occur primari- 
ly within the lobes, but small concentrations of green 
and gray slate flakes are also found in the eastern end 
of the southern structure. 

Area 2A Conclusion 

Neither the two module nor the rectangular dwelling 
interpretation fit precisely with reports from other 
Early/Middle Labrador Maritime Archaic dwellings, but 
the segmented structure model comes closest, given 
the pattern of linear feature-centered distributions run- 
ning across the width of a rectangular dwelling, 
flanked by floor-areas with limited deposition. The seg- 
mented structure interpretation is also consistent with 
the ethnoarchaeological and other archaeological 
examples of interior dwelling space considered in 
Chapter 3, which generally exhibited centrally located 
hearth-centered debris distributions flanked by rela- 
tively debris-free habitation areas. On the other hand, 
the orientation of the hypothesized dwellings perpen- 



dicular to the beach front departs from most of the 
documented Maritime Archaic dwellings, which have 
their long walls oriented parallel to a beach. 

The dwelling sizes implied by both interpretations 
(modules: 4 by 3 m, rectangular: 4 by 6-i- m) are broad- 
ly consistent with the current picture of Early/Middle 
Maritime Archaic structures. At Aillik-2 (near 
Makkovik), several structures were found on shorelines 
originally estimated to date 6000-5500 B.P.: a one seg- 
ment structure 3 m in length, a two segment structure 
6 m in length and a four segment structure 10 m in 
length (Fitzhugh 1984:10). More recently, Fitzhugh 
(2002:7) reports a radiocarbon date of 6870±1 80 B.P. 
for the latter 1 m structure and an additional five seg- 
ment structure 8 m in length from the same beach 
level is dated 6400±1 1 B.P.. At Aillik West 1 , a three 
segment structure 9 m in length is radiocarbon dated 
to 5210±270 B.P. (Fitzhugh 1984:10). At Hamilton 
Inlet, Sandy Cove Complex sites (ca. 5000 B.P.) appar- 
ently contain structures with two or three hearths and 
lengths of 12-16 m (Fitzhugh 1984:13). More detailed 
investigations of Early/Middle Maritime Archaic sites 
will be necessary to clarify the functional and cultural 
parameters of these different spatial configurations 
and to assess how the Area 2A features fit into the 
range of variation. 

Area 2B 

Area 2B consists of a central pit and hearth complex 
surrounded by extensive deposits of fire-cracked rock 
(Figure 33, 66). Radiocarbon dates of 6100-6000 B.P. 
indicate this subarea is slightly earlier than Area 2A. 
Defining the southern boundary of Area 2B is some- 
what problematic. As discussed previously, some of 
the quadrats in the 49-50x76-80y area may contain 
palimpsest deposits resulting from an overlap between 
the Area 2A and 2B occupations (see Figure 33). In par- 
ticular, the high frequency of Ramah chert flakes plus 
the presence of fire-cracked rock and clusters of other 
small rocks in 49x76-80y strongly suggest this area is 
part of the Area 2B occupation. Nonetheless, given this 



NUKASU5UT0K 5 SPATIAL ANALYSIS 



119 



overlap problem and the predominant limitation of k- 
means cluster 8 to the area south of the 50x line, the 
latter is used as a convenient, if imperfect, southern 
boundary for the Area 2B analysis. 

The central pit is a vaguely defined oval basin 1 .25 
by 0.9 m in size, 5 cm deep, containing charcoal, red 
ocher and calcined bone fragments. About 60-80 cm 
to the west is hearth 1 1 , a disturbed feature that may 
or may not have been contemporary with the pit. These 
central features are surrounded by an area of 1.2-1.6 
m radius that for the most part contains a diffuse scat- 
ter of small to medium-sized rocks. This relatively 
rock-free central area is ringed by fire-cracked rock 
deposits distributed as thin "carpets," some of which 
extend beyond the boundaries of the excavation. The 
smaller concentrations of the rock debris probably rep- 
resent discrete depositional events while the larger 
concentrations may be accretions of several deposi- 
tional episodes. A small rock deposit overlaps the east- 
ern edge of the central pit feature such that this 
deposit must partially post-date the feature. Another 
lesser concentration lies immediately to the west of the 
pit, implying a close association. The largest continu- 
ous rock concentrations lie 1 .6 m to the northwest and 
1.2 m to the southeast of the pit. The southeastern 
concentration has a peculiar distribution around a 
large boulder; the rock-free area adjacent to the boul- 
der indicates that for some reason the fire-cracked 
rock was not deposited directly up against the boulder. 
Lithic debitage is mainly concentrated in the central 
area that is relatively free of fire-cracked rock. An 
exception is an almost circular flake concentration in 
the southern corner of the excavation (50x 76-77y), 
which is discussed further below. 

A preliminary interpretation of this pattern is that 
the central hearth-pit area was employed in multiple 
episodes of using rocks for cooking or heating, a 
process involving the positioning of people in the 
largely rock-free area surrounding the pit. Some of the 
small-medium size rocks plotted in this zone may rep- 
resent unused raw materials for the heating process. 



The fragmentary debris produced by the heating 
process was then collected and discarded a short dis- 
tance beyond the central features, creating the contin- 
uous carpets of fire-cracked rocks east and west of the 
pit. The smaller concentrations immediately adjacent 
to the pit may indicate the last cleaning phase prior to 
the cessation of heating activity. Two alternative mod- 
els could account for this concentric configuration: 1) 
Binford's (1 983:1 53, 1 67-1 69) "drop/toss-zone" model 
for patterning associated with external hearths and 
activity areas, and 2) an external discard model, in 
which fire-cracked rock produced within a dwelling 
was discarded in a ring immediately outside the 
dwelling walls. These two models provide the underly- 
ing framework for the analysis. 

There is more to Area 28 than a concentric pat- 
tern, however; two additional features complicate the 
analysis. The aforementioned circular concentration of 
flakes in 50x76-77y is directly associated with a clus- 
ter of rocks and adjacent to a tongue of fire-cracked 
rock that extends out from the main mass, as well as 
another smaller fire-cracked rock dump. Although no 
charcoal was recorded in the area of the flake/rock 
concentration, the pattern of all these elements is very 
similar to that noted at other hearths. The unusual 
tongue-like configuration of the adjacent fire-cracked 
rock deposit could be better explained as a result of 
dumping from this possible hearth (H-1 7), rather than 
from the central hearth-pit complex. Thus there could 
be two different feature-centered complexes at Area 
2B. A second possible anomaly is the concentration of 
fire-cracked rock on the west side of the boulder in 
unit 50x79y; the concentration extends tongue-like 
towards the north lobe at Area 2A. The shape of this 
deposit and its orientation with respect to the boulder 
suggests that instead of being thrown north to south 
from the central portion of Area 2B, it could have accu- 
mulated by dumping from a location slightly to the 
west. Two features 1 m to the west and south are pos- 
sible source areas: a rock cluster (lacking charcoal) 
suggestive of a possible hearth (H-1 8) and a small pit 



120 



CHAPTER 6 



with charcoal and red ocher which might have been a 
hearth (H-19). The following discussion provides a 
more detailed analysis of these patterns. 

Tool Distribution 

Detailed information on the distribution of tool classes 
can be had in Figures 47 to 58. Beginning with a 
model-based analysis, the tools are grouped using the 
following units: central pit, hearth 11, fire-cracked 
rock zone, possible hearth 1 7, and units adjacent to 
hearth 1 7 (Figure 38). As shown in Table 1 7, all the for- 
mal tools are found either in the central pit/hearth 
area (points, bifaces, flake knives) or near possible 
hearth 1 7 (flake point, endscraper). Despite the large 
number of fine-grained chert flakes adjacent to hearth 
1 1 and the central pit (see below), no endscrapers— 
which are made almost exclusively of this material- 
were found in the central area. Utilized flakes are most 
frequent in the central pit/hearth area, but they are 
also found in the fire-cracked rock zone and adjacent 
to possible hearth 1 7. Two quartz block cores occur in 
the central area near the pit. Three bipolar cores are 
present in the central area and another three are found 



in the extreme southeastern corner of Area 2B, an area 
with very few quartz flakes (Figure 39). Given the asso- 
ciation between bipolar cores and quartz reduction at 
Area 2A, the latter isolated bipolar cores might have 
been tossed there from locations of quartz reduction 
in the central area or at possible hearth 1 7. No finished 
ground slate tools or slate plates/blanks were found in 
Area 2B, but there were several ground slate flakes, all 
but one of which were associated with the pit or hearth 
11. Given the presence of a modest number of slate 
flakes (of four different raw material types) and a pos- 
sible sandstone grindstone, this could suggest an 
emphasis on reworking curated tools rather than pro- 
duction activity. 

Table 18 outlines the distribution of tool raw 
material frequencies in relation to the model-based 
units. No patterning is evident besides the lack of slate 
tools in the hearth 17 units. 

Of the 42 tools from Area 2B, 39 have point prove- 
nience. Consequently, although the sample size is 
small, a /(-means cluster analysis may be more robust 
than at Area 2A. The overall 12-cluster /(-means solu- 
tion computed for Area 2 as a whole (Figure 37) indicat- 





Table 17: 


Area 2B Tool Classes by Model Units 






Center 


H-ll Fire- H-17 Adjacent 
Cracked H-17 


TOTAL 
N (%) 


Stemmed points 




1 


1 (2.4) 


Bifaces 




1 


1 (2.4) 


Flake points 




1 


1 (2.4) 


Endscrapers 




1 


1 (2.4) 


Flake knives 


2 




2 (4.8) 


Utilized flakes 


9 


3 5 4 


21 (50.0) 


Bipolar cores 


1 


1 1 3 


6 (14.3) 


Block Cores 


2 




2 (4.8) 


Ground slate flakes 


3 


2 1 


6 (14.3) 


Grindstones (?) 


1 




1 (2.4) 


TOTAL 


18 


8 7 1 8 


42 





NUKASUSUTOK 5: SPATIAL ANALYSIS 



121 



Table 18: Area 2B Tool Raw Material Frequencies by Model Units 


Center H-11 Fire-Cracked H-17 Adjacent H-1 7 TOTAL N (%) 


Quartz 


4 2 


3 9(21.4) 


Ramah chert 


7 2 


6 5 20 (47.6) 


Black chert 


2 2 


4 (9.5) 


Cray Mugford chert 




1 1 (2.4) 


Slate— total 


4 2 


1 7(16.7) 


Green 


2 2 


1 5 


Gray 


1 


1 


Indet. 1 1 


Sandstone 


1 


1 (2.4) 


TOTAL 


18 8 


7 1 8 42 


ed two clusters at Area 2B. Cluster 6 lies in the middle 
of the central pit-hearth complex while cluster 3 is a 
northeastern outlier to possible hearth 1 7. Inspection 
of the tool distribution constituting cluster 6, however, 
suggested this cluster lumps together several possibly 
independent tool groupings. Consequently, a separate 
/(-means analysis was conducted on the Area 28 mate- 
rials. Three and 5-cluster solutions seemed best, but 
the 5-cluster solution was preferred because it provid- 
ed a good separation of what seemed like intuitively 


reasonable groups (Figure 67). Clusters 1 and 4 are 
associated with the pit, suggesting two depositional 
positions on opposite sides of the feature, while clus- 
ter 5 is associated with Hearth 1 1 . Cluster 3 includes 
items lying within or near the fire-cracked rock ring 
southwest of the pit. Cluster 2 consists of implements 
lying east of possible hearth 1 7. 

Table 19 shows the tool classes associated with 
each of these five clusters. The number of tools in each 
cluster is similar. Although there are differences in the 




Table 19: Area 2B Tool Classes by K-Means Cluster 




Cl C-2 


C3 C-4 C-5 TOTAL 


Stemmed point 1 1 


Biface 1 1 


Endscraper 1 1 


Flake knife 


2 


2 


Utilized flake 


3 4 


4 5 3 1 9 


Bipolar core 


3 


1 2 6 


Block core 


1 


1 2 


Ground slate flake 


1 


12 2 6 


Grindstone (?) 1 1 


TOTAL 7 8 6 9 9 39 

■Three items without point provenience: a utilized flal<e near Cluster 1 , a utilized flake near Cluster 4 and a 
flake point equidistant west of Clusters 2 and 3. 



122 



CHAPTER 6 



66/ Area 2B: features and total flake distribution. 




types represented in each cluster, the low frequencies 
make it difficult to assess the meaning of the varia- 
tions. The best that can be said is that utilized flakes 
are evenly distributed across the clusters while formal 
tools have more restricted distributions. Five of the six 
bipolar cores are associated with hearths (either hearth 
1 1 or adjacent to possible hearth 1 7). These cluster 
results may provide a more nuanced view of spatial 



distributions within the model-based units, but they 
reveal little about the nature of these patterns. The 
same might be said of the distribution of tool raw 
materials by cluster (Table 20). Tools of Ramah chert 
(mostly utilized flakes) are fairly evenly distributed 
across the clusters, while black chert tools (all utilized 
flakes) and green ground slate flakes are mostly limit- 
ed to clusters 4 and 5 (the central subarea). 



NUKASUSUTOK-5: SPATIAL ANALYSIS 



123 



Table 20: Area 2B Tool Raw Material Frequencies by K-Means Cluster. 



C-1 


C-2 C 3 


C-4 


C 5 


TOTAL N (%) 


Weight (g) 


Quartz 2 


3 


1 


3 


9 (23.1) 


973 


Ramah chert 3 


4 4 


4 


2 


1 7 (43.6) 


104 


Black chert 




2 


2 


4 (10.3) 


18 


Cray Mugford chert 


1 






1 (2.6) 


2 


Slate— total 2 


1 


2 


2 


7 (17.9) 




Green 


1 


2 


2 


5 


9 


Gray 1 1 1 


Indet. 1 








1 


1 


Sandstone 


1 






1 


n.a. 


TOTAL 7 


8 6 


9 


9 


39 




Three items without point provenience, all of Ramah chert 
other equidistant west of Clusters 2 and 3. 


one near Cluster /, one near Cluster 4, the 



Flake Distribution 

As noted above, the majority of the flakes at Area 2B 
are concentrated in the central fire-cracked rock-free 
area (Figure 66). Ramah chert is the most abundant 
flake material. A significant quantity of these flakes is 
found within the central pit and the vast majority lie 
within a 1 .8 m radius of the pit edge, with the highest 
density on the eastern and southern sides of the fea- 
ture (Figure 40). The coterminous boundary between 
the flakes and fire-cracked rocks is most clear along 
the 79y line south and east of the pit. In some areas, 
however, the distributions overlap: the extreme north- 
west corner of Area 2B, west and north of the pit, west 
of the large boulder and in unit 49x78y. Nonetheless, 
given the overall pattern of marked drop-off in flake 
frequency beyond 1 .8 m from the pit, the clustering of 
many Ramah chert flakes associated with fire-cracked 
rock in 49-50x78-79y (west of the boulder) may be the 
result of overlapping deposition with Area 2A. 

The circular concentration of Ramah chert flakes 
in 50x76-77y at the southern corner of Area 2B 
appears to be a depositional unit quite separate from 
the debitage associated with the central pit-hearth 
complex. The concentration is 90 cm in diameter, with 
a hollow center 30-40 cm wide. Several rocks occur 

124 



near the center of the flake distribution as well as on 
its edges. Although no charcoal was noted here, the 
configuration of flakes and rocks is strongly sugges- 
tive of a hearth (possible hearth 1 7). The Ramah chert 
flakes on the northwest side of the concentration are 
partially overlapped by a fire-cracked rock deposit that 
seems to extend out from the main mass. This exten- 
sion may have originated from activities centered on 
hearth 1 7 rather than being the result of dumping 
actions associated with the central features. A similar 
interpretation could also apply to the discrete fire- 
cracked rock cluster to the northeast of hearth 1 7 
(51 x76-77y). 

Patinated Ramah chert (Figure 42) is mostly con- 
centrated in a 1 m wide arc to the north, to the east 
and south of the central pit. It is also associated with 
the carpet of fire-cracked rocks south of the pit (51- 
53x77-78. 5y), which contains little unpatinated Ramah 
chert. Since patination is the result of thermal alter- 
ation the presence of patinated flake concentrations in 
units entirely outside the pit and hearth features 
implies they are secondary refuse dumped there after 
removal from the combustion features. This contrast- 
ing distribution of unpatinated and patinated Ramah 
chert is consistent with the argument of a central drop- 

CHAPTER 6 



zone (mostly unpatinated chert from tool retouch) and 
an encircling toss zone (fire-cracked rock and patinat- 
ed chert removed from the central hearth). The other 
major concentration of patinated Ramah chert is 
directly associated with possible hearth 1 7. 

The distribution of large Ramah chert biface-thin- 
ning flakes (BTFs; Figure 63) is limited to the quadrats 
north and west of the central pit and hearth features, 
with the exception of one flake east of the pit and a 
single flake associated with possible hearth 17. Most 
of the small BTFs are located on the opposite (south) 
side of the pit. This contrast hints at differences in the 
spatial positioning of biface reduction stages. Overall, 
the proportion of BTFs is greatest in the central pit- 
hearth area (42.9%) and in association with possible 
hearth 17 (27.2%; Table 20, below). Notably, however, 
no Ramah chert points or preforms and only a single 
biface were found at Area 28 (Table 20, Figures 50 to 
52). Keeping in mind the limited excavation area, this 
might suggest preparation of bifaces curated for use 
elsewhere. 

The distribution of quartz flakes (Figure 39) is 
generally consistent with that of Ramah chert, 
although much less dense. With the exception of units 
50x76-77y (associated with possible hearth 1 7), most 
of the quartz flakes are located in the central area with- 
in 1.8-2.0 m of the pit. In contrast to Ramah chert, 
quartz flakes are rare within the pit itself. 

The distributions of slate (Figure 44) and fine- 
grained cherts (Figure 43) are similar; both occur 
mostly in the central area, especially south and west of 
the pit. This is opposite the trend for Ramah chert, 
suggesting the materials were reduced at different 
locations. Slate occurs mostly within the pit itself and 
within a 1 .2 m radius of the pit edge, with the faint 
suggestion of two scatters, one south and one west of 
the pit. A few flakes are also associated with possible 
hearth 17. Beige slate is clustered near hearth 11, 
while the other types are mostly associated with the 
pit. Black chert was mostly located outside the pit and 
within a 1 .6 m radius of its edge and, like slate, is clus- 



tered in two scatters, one west and one southwest of 
the pit. The latter cluster lies beside hearthl 1 , indicat- 
ing an activity locus unassociated with the pit. There 
are few gray Mugford chert flakes, but their distribu- 
tion is more balanced between the eastern and western 
sides of the pit. A very few black chert and gray 
Mugford chert flakes are associated with possible 
hearth 1 7. 

Given the preceding considerations, the flake dis- 
tributions at Area 2B can be analysed by grouping the 
50 cm^ quadrats into analytical units based on the fea- 
ture-centered model (Figure 38, Table 21). A general 
category of "central" units could be defined from 
quadrats associated with the pit and hearth 1 1 , an area 
mostly free from fire-cracked rock except for the clus- 
ters immediately adjacent to the features. But in order 
to identify possible spatial variations the central area 
was subdivided by treating quadrats associated with 
hearth 1 1 as a separate analytical unit. The "peripher- 
al" area consists of the surrounding quadrats contain- 
ing deposits of fire-cracked rock. Hearth 1 7 includes 
those units closely associated with that feature, while 
"adjacent" refers to those units northeast of hearth 1 7 
that could represent a depositional zone related to the 
feature. Ramah chert is the most dominant material 
by frequency (64-79%) in all the subareas except for at 
hearth 1 1 , where black chert and Ramah chert consti- 
tute 40% and 45%, respectively. Otherwise, green slate 
is fairly restricted to the central area, a pattern similar 
to the distribution of green slate tools. When expected 
frequencies are calculated there is a clear over-repre- 
sentation of black chert at hearth 1 1 and of patinated 
Ramah chert in the periphery subarea. The latter sup- 
ports the toss-zone dumping interpretation. When the 
five spatial categories are collapsed into three broader 
units (central/hearth 11, periphery, hearth 1 7/adja- 
cent), black chert remains over-represented in the cen- 
tral subarea and patinated Ramah chert is still over- 
represented in the periphery, but there is also a slight 
over-representation of unpatinated Ramah chert in the 
hearth 17/adjacent subarea. 



NUKASUSUTOK-5: SPATIAL ANALYSIS 



125 



Table 21: Area 2B Flake Raw Material Frequencies by Model Units 





Central 




H-11 


Periphery 




H-17 


Adjacent 


TOTAL 


Weight (g) (%) 


Quartz 


131 (16.6) 


32 


(9.1) 


60 (12.6) 


88 


(14.5) 


21 (19.8) 


332 


1006 (56.7) 


Ramah chert 


505 (63.9) 


1 59 (45.2) 


365 (76.5) 


476 (78.7) 


72(67.9) 


1 577 


608 (34.3) 


Patinated Ramah 


36 (4.6) 


2 


(0.6) 


32 (6.7) 


16 


(2.6) 


6 (5.7) 


92 


30.4 (1.7) 


Black chert 


57 (7.2) 


142 (40.3) 


4 (0.8) 


2 


(0.3) 




205 


47.5 (2.7) 


Cray Mugford chert 


11 (1.4) 


6 


(1.7) 


4 (0.8) 


3 


(0.5) 


1 (0.9) 


25 


4.8 (0.3) 


Green Mugford chert 


1 (0.1) 






1 (0.2) 








2 


0.2 (0.0) 


White/patinated Mug 


. 2 (0.3) 


2 


(0.6) 


1 (0.2) 


5 




0.4 (0.0) 






Slate— total 


47 (5.9) 


9 


(2.6) 


10 (2.1) 


20 


(3.3) 


6 (5.7) 


92 


76.4 (4.3) 


Beige 


1 


4 












5 


5 


Green 


1 5 


3 






1 




1 


20 


31.1 


Gray 


6 








3 




1 


10 


3.9 


Gray-banded 


22 


2 




10 


13 




4 


51 


29.9 


Red-brown 


3 








2 






5 


6.5 


TOTAL 


790 


352 




477 


605 




106 


2330 





Distribution of Red Ocher and Bone 

Figure 61 illustrates the distribution of red ocher and 
bone fragments. Virtually all the red ocher stains 
occur within the central rock-free area. Besides the 
distinct stains within the pit there are two other major 
clusters of stains, one 1 .0-1 .5 m northwest of the pit, 
the other 0.5-1 .2 m northwest of hearth 1 1 . Smaller 
patches occur east of hearth 1 1 , near the southeast- 
ern extremity of Area 2B (76y line) and close to the 
overlap zone with Area 2A. A total of 46 tiny calcined 
bone fragments were found within the pit, primarily 
on its western and northern sides near the red ocher 
patches. Among these was a tiny piece of worked 
bone that appears to be a pendant fragment with rem- 
nants of a gouged hole and striations on each face 
(see Chapter 8). None of the bone fragments were 
identifiable to taxon. 

Refitting 

The only refit accomplished at Area 2B involved two 
fragments of a sandstone plate (possible grindstone) 
that lay only a few centimeters apart (Figure 58). 



Feature-Centered Distributions, Size-Sorting 
and Cultural Formation Processes 

The previous discussion provides a plausible basis for 
concluding that there are two feature-centered distri- 
butions. The first is the pit-hearth complex, which 
seems to be associated with a central drop-zone and 
peripheral toss-zone. The second is possible hearth 
1 7, which has a restricted distribution of Ramah chert 
debitage and adjacent dumping areas for fire-cracked 
rock, but lacks further indications of a central drop 
zone and peripheral toss zone. If these interpretations 
are reasonable, we might expect to find some evidence 
for artifact size-sorting associated with the first distri- 
bution, but perhaps not with the second. 

Tool size-sorting is difficult to quantify at Area 2B 
because of the low frequencies. If consideration is lim- 
ited to the relatively large quartz block cores, there are 
only two items and both are associated with the 
hypothesized central drop-zone (Figure 47). Quartz 
flake size distributions are of limited use since quartz 
occurs in relatively low frequencies (332 flakes) such 
that size-sorting indices may not be very meaningful. 



126 



CHAPTER 6 



Additionally, since most quartz flakes were either con- 
centrated in the central area, or were associated with 
possible hearth 1 7 in the southern corner of Area 2B, 
drop/toss-zone comparisons are difficult. In any event, 
calculation of size-sorting indices for quartz flakes 
(Figure 62) results in low values for almost all of the 
quadrats, in principal indicating little size-sorting. 
Somewhat higher positive values suggesting a tenden- 
cy towards smaller flakes are associated with possible 
hearth 17, but this may only indicate intensive reduc- 
tion. In sum, there is little evidence for size-sorting 
related to either maintenance activity or reduction 
staging. 

The best evidence for drop/toss-zone behavior 
comes from the distributions of fire-cracked rock and 
patinated Ramah chert. As discussed previously, the 
association of thermally altered Ramah chert flakes 
with the fire-cracked rock carpets south of the pit 
(Figure 42) is a clear indication that material was 
removed from the central hearth/pit area and rede- 
posited a short distance away. 

Consumption of Lithic Materials and 
Technological Organization 

The total weight of tool and flake raw materials from 
Area 2B is presented in Table 22 as a rough estimate 
of raw material consumption. The area is subdivided 
into its two main behavioral units: the central pit- 
hearth area with its surrounding ring of fire-cracked 
rock, and possible hearth 17 and its adjacent area. 
Quartz dominates the central area with ca. 1.7 kg 
despite a low frequency of both flakes and tools; only 
0.4 kg of Ramah chert is present. Quartz and Ramah 
are more evenly represented at the hearth 1 7 subarea. 
The total amounts of black chert and slate at Area 2B 
are in both cases under 100 g. The other materials are 
represented by trace quantities. 



Table 22. Area 2B Total Lithic Raw 
Material Weights (Tools and Flakes). 





Central 


(g) (%) 


H-17 (g) (%) 


Quartz 


1 707.0 


(73.8) 


272.0 


(58 5) 


Ramah chert 


430.0 


(1 8.6) 


1 78.0 


(38.3) 


Patinated Ramah chert 23.1 


(1 .0) 


7.3 


(1 6) 


Black chert 


65.3 


(2.8) 


0.2 


(0.0) 


Gray Mugford chert 


6.1 


(0.3) 


0.7 


(0.2) 


Green Mugford chert 


0.2 


(0.0) 






White/patinated Mug. 


0.4 


(0.0) 






Slate^total 


79.8 


(3.5) 


6.6 


(1.4) 


Beige 


5.0 








Green 


28.6 




2.5 




Gray 


2.4 




1.5 




Gray-banded 


27.5 




2.4 




Red-brown 


6.3 




0.2 





Table 23 provides a breakdown of variables rele- 
vant to the technological organization of quartz and 
Ramah chert at Area 2B. Given the paucity of quartz 
materials there is little that can be said concerning the 
relationship between cores and flakes. For Ramah 
chert the lack of points, bifaces, and preforms, despite 
considerable numbers of biface-thinning flakes (BTFs), 
suggests the curation of finished products to other 
locations or discard elsewhere on the site. As noted 
previously, while most of the BTFs are located within 
the central "drop-zone", almost all of the large BTFs lie 
to the north and west of the pit-hearth complex, imply- 
ing differences in the spatial positioning of biface 
reduction stages. 



NUKASUSUTOK-5: SPATIAL ANALYSIS 



127 



Table 23. Summary of the Quartz and Ramah Chert Reduction Systems at Area 2B. 



QUARTZ 





Tools 


Block Cores 


Bipolar 


Flakes 


Total Weight (g) 


Central 


6 


2 


2 


223 


1 707 



H-17 3 3 109 272 



RAMAH CHERT 





Tools 


Points Biface. Preforms 
Frags. 


Bipolar 
Cores 


Biface- 
Thinning 


Flakes 


Total 
Weight (g) 


Central 


1 5 


1 


1 


96 


1099 


453 


H-1 7 


5 






53 


5 70 


185 



* includes patinated flakes 



Area 2B Conclusions 

It is unlikely that the extensive deposits of fire-cracked 
rock at Area 2B accumulated within a dwelling struc- 
ture because such waste probably would be removed 
by regular maintenance activities. But the concentric 
distribution pattern could be interpreted in two ways. 
The first alternative sees the configuration as similar to 
Binford's (1 983:153-159, 165-1 70) outdoor hearth or 
extensive activity area model. The space within a 1 .8 m 
radius of the pit was used by individuals engaged in 
cooking-heating practices involving thermally stressed 
rocks, as well as lithic tool production and mainte- 
nance activities. This central core was a drop-zone for 
flakes accumulating around knappers seated adjacent 
to the pit. Shattered rocks resulting from cooking-heat- 
ing within the pit were removed periodically and 
dumped behind the individuals working around the 
hearth, forming a roughly concentric toss-zone. Since 
the flake distribution southeast of the pit seems coter- 
minous with the edge of the fire-cracked rock, prior 
placement of the rock determined the limit of the deb- 
itage. The spatial distribution of thermally altered 
Ramah chert— directly associated with the hearths 
and as probable secondary refuse among the fire- 



cracked rocks— is consistent with this hearth cleaning 
and peripheral dumping interpretation. The fire- 
cracked rock concentrations immediately adjacent to 
the pit represent the last sequence of pit use, since 
one of the concentrations is partly superimposed on 
the pit. 

The second alternative interprets the concentric 
pattern as dwelling-related. The sharply bounded flake 
distribution associated with the central hearth/pit fea- 
ture is seen as internal to a dwelling and bounded by a 
tent wall, similar to the modules at Area 2A. This inter- 
pretation implies a 4 m wide dwelling running south- 
west to northeast. In this case, however, there is a sec- 
ond edge-effect in which the inner boundary of the fire- 
cracked rock is partly coterminous with the outer 
boundary of the flakes. This contact zone could imply 
that the fire-cracked rock was redeposited outside a 
dwelling, partly along the outer edge of a tent wall. 

The overall pattern is complicated by three fac- 
tors. First, it cannot be established whether or not 
hearth 1 1 and the central pit were used contemporane- 
ously and thus whether they constitute a paired activi- 
ty unit. Second, there may be another hearth (no.l 7) in 
the southern corner of Area 2B. This feature appears to 



128 



CHAPTER 6 




41x61y 



68/ Area 2C: features and total flake distribution. 



involve spatially restricted behavior with adjacent rock 
dumping activity, but without the development of 
clearly marked drop-toss zones. Further excavation to 
the southeast would be required to clarify this. Third, 
the nature of the distributions in the area of overlap 
with Area 2A are unclear. Some of the fire-cracked 
rocks in the overlap area might have originated at pos- 
sible hearth 18 just north of the north lobe, but the 
contribution of activities related to the lobe itself can- 
not be ruled out. Given the possibility of overlapping 
deposits, as well as the limited excavation area, it is 
difficult to regard one or the other of these alternative 
interpretations as more robust. 

Area 2C 

The boundary between Areas 2C and 2A (Figure 38) 
was partly defined by behavioral discontinuity. The 
entire northwestern end of Area 2C exhibits a very low 
density of flakes and tools compared with the south 
lobe at Area 2A. Indeed, there is a 6-7 m distance 
between the terminal edge of the south lobe and the 
next major flake concentration at the southeastern end 
of Area 2C (Figure 33). The other discontinuity is 
chronological; the pit associated with hearth 1 (2 m 



south of the south lobe) produced a radiocarbon date 
of 6100+80 B.P.. At the extreme eastern end of Area 
2C hearth 14 produced an unacceptable date of 
1 600±80 B.P.. Although the lack of an acceptable date 
from the southeastern end of Area 2C means that con- 
temporaneity with Area 2A cannot be ruled out, the 
behavioral discontinuity and the date from hearth 10 
suggest that Area 2C can be treated independently of 
Area 2A. 

Hearths 9,10,12 and 1 3 at the western end of the 
subarea are all associated with an extremely low lithic 
density (Figure 68). Furthermore, their orientation and 
spacing seems rather regular, arranged in a rough rec- 
tangle 2 m by 2 m in size. Interestingly, this layout is 
comparable in size and configuration with the "lobes" 
at Area 2A, such that the hearth grouping might be 
interpreted as part of a dwelling module. 
Unfortunately, the sparse flake and tool distributions 
provide little additional information. The hearths 
exhibit different forms, presumably indicative of differ- 
ent functions or practices, an attribute that was also 
noted at Area 2A. Hearths 12 and 13 are simple clus- 
ters of cobbles. Hearth 10 seems to be a composite 
feature consisting of a small circular pit flanked by an 



NUKASUSUTOK 5: SPATIAL ANALYSIS 



129 




elongated pit. Hearth 9 was a large stone-floored fea- 
ture surrounded on three sides by inclined slabs, giv- 
ing the impression of a box-hearth used for controlling 
the dispersal of debris or for heat reflection. 

Hearths 1 4 and 1 5 at the eastern end of Area 2C 
may be another hearth pairing, since they are spaced 2 
m apart, similar to the Area 2A module pattern. Hearth 
14 consists of a large (1.2 m diameter) and diffuse 
scatter of charcoal associated with a pair of large 
rounded rocks. 

Hearth 1 5, only partially excavated, appears to be 
an elongated pit containing rocks and red ocher. 
Towards the southern boundary of the excavation 
(41x62-63y), three large rocks associated with char- 
coal and a flake concentration may be evidence for 
another hearth, although the configuration is unclear. 

The flakes at hearth 14 exhibit abrupt density 
changes on either side of the feature, creating a 1 .2 m 
wide band very similar to the widths of the linear flake 
distributions at the Area 2A lobes. The flakes associat- 
ed with hearth 1 5 suggest a similar pattern, but further 
excavation is needed to evaluate this. It should also be 
noted that Area 2C is adjacent to a blow-out contain- 
ing rock clusters that probably represent hearths 



(Figure 71). Thus, the eastern portion of Area 2C and 
the adjacent deflated area could constitute connected 
activity areas. 

The overall Area 2 /c-means cluster analysis (Figure 
37) identified two tool clusters in Area 2C, one related 
to hearths 9, 10, 12 and 1 3 (cluster 5), the other asso- 
ciated with hearths 14 and 1 5 (cluster 1). It seems rea- 
sonable to divide Area 2C into two broad analytical 
subunits based on the spacing of the hearth features, 
the marked differences in flake densities and the two 
/(-means clusters (Figure 38). Area 2C1 will refer to the 
northwestern portion of the area (units between 69- 
71 Y and 65Y) and Area 2C2 to the southeastern por- 
tion (units between 6r65Y). The analysis could be 
more nuanced, however, with additional feature-relat- 
ed subdivisions. 

Tool Distribution 

Figures 47 to 58 depict the tool class distributions. 
Little can be said about the 2C1 distribution, except 
that there is an unusually high proportion of schist 
tablets and fragments. One bar-shaped chlorite schist 
object and one flat plate of phylite schist lay adjacent 
to hearth 9, the box-like feature. These implements 



CHAPTER 6 



Table 24: Area 2C Tool Classes by K-Means Cluster and Subarea. 




CI 


C-2 C-3 C-4 Outliers 2C1 


2C2 


TOTAL N (%) 


Stemmed points 




1 1 






1 (1 0) 


Bifaces 


1 


3 1 1 


4 




5 (S 2) 


Biface preforms 


1 


1 


2 




2 (2 1) 


Endscrapers 


1 


1 1 


1 




2 (2 1) 


Stemmed flakes 




1 






1 (1 0) 


Utilized flakes 


6 


17 3 1 1 7 


24 




31 (32.0) 


Celts/adzes 


2 


1 


3 




3 (3 1) 


Slate blanks 




1 


1 




1 (1 0) 


Ground slate flakes 


3 


17 1 12 


20 




22 (22 7) 


Bipolar cores 




1 1 1 


1 




2 (2.1) 


Block cores 


6 


9 2 1 


18 




19 (19.6) 


Disc cores 


1 




1 




1 (1.0) 


Hammerstones 




1 


1 




1 (1.0) 


Schist tablets/frags 




2 3 4 


2 




6 (6.2) 


TOTAL 


21 


53 4 5 5 19 


79 




97 



might have been used in the polishing of ground slate 
tools, although there is a paucity of ground slate tools, 
slate blanks, as well as ground and unground slate 
flakes in the subarea. At 2C2 the distributions of 
almost all the tool types are closely associated with 
hearths 14 and 15. The exception is endscrapers 
(Figure 54), one of which is associated with hearth 1 3, 
the other which lies 1 m distant from hearth 15. 
Ground slate flakes (Figure 57) also cluster around 
Hearths 1 4 and 1 5. 

Of the 98 tools from Area 2C, 91 have point prove- 
nience. A /c-means analysis was run for Area 2C alone, 
producing slightly better cluster resolution than in the 
overall Area 2 analysis. The 5-cluster solution seemed 
best, isolating small clusters associated with hearths 9 
and 1 2 (four items in each) and separate clusters asso- 
ciated with hearths 14 and 15, but it also created a 
fifth cluster west of hearth 14 that was diffuse and 
probably not behaviorally relevant. Consequently, a 
modified version of this cluster solution was used 
(Figure 69) in which the fifth cluster was dissolved, 
with two of its members being reassigned by reason- 



able proximity to cluster 2, while the other four mem- 
bers, plus an outlier of cluster 1, were placed in an 
"outlier" category, denoting lack of clear relation to the 
feature-centered distributions. Table 24 presents the 
tool frequencies resulting from this cluster analysis. 

The low tool frequencies hinder the identification 
of statistically significant patterns, but at hearth 14 
(cluster 2) several types are prominent: bifaces, uti- 
lized flakes, ground slate flakes and perhaps tool man- 
ufacturing implements such as a hammerstone and 
schist tablets. A more general picture can be had by 
combining clusters 1 and 2 with their adjacent outliers 
(Area 2C2) and comparing this with combined clusters 
3 and 4 (Area 2C1 ), with the addition of quadrat prove- 
nienced items. Low tool frequencies still plague the 
comparison (Area 2C1= 19 items, vs Area 2C2= 81 
items) such that it is difficult to discern any statistical- 
ly significant differences. About all that can be said is 
that Area 2C2 has high frequencies of utilized flakes, 
quartz block cores, bifaces, biface preforms, and 
ground slate flakes and tool fragments. Notable, how- 
ever, is the relative lack of quartz bipolar cores (n=l) 



NUKASUSUTOK-5: SPATIAL ANALYSIS 



131 



Table 25: Area 2C Tool Raw Material Frequencies and Weights by Cluster and Subarea 





r-i 






r-4 


C\ 1 it*! i ore 






Quartz 


a 
o 



o 


1 






^ \C-ZJ\J) 


1 o J / 


r\al 1 Idi 1 L 1 1 c 1 L 


Q 

o 




-) 
L. 


1 

1 


1 




^ ^ J OH; 


Rlarl/ rhtart 
DldL K L 1 1 1; 1 I 








1 


1 


? (■4'! 




Q| atp—tnt;! 1 
jlaLc LULdl 


f, 


] 7 


] 








^ ^ V J ^ J / 






J 


1 
1 






1 en 81 


Rl 


(~. rod n 
v_i 1 cell 


K 
J 












in R 3 'I'l 


G r3.y 


1 
1 


2 












Vjldy UdilUcU 




c 












R o H - h rr\\A/n 
rxc u ui KJvv t \ 




2 










3 n 61 


r~. roon-nrav/ cnofl/ltiri 




I 










1 "^1 


Schist 




4 




3 




4 (664) 


4 (30) 


Other 


1 


2 










3 (145) 


TOTAL 


23 


54 


4 


5 


5 


19 


79 



in contrast to the abundance of quartz block cores and 
quartz debitage. 

When tool raw materials and weights are consid- 
ered (Table 25), Area 2C2 has an overwhelming domi- 
nation of quartz by weight, but Ramah chert and green 
slate are also important by both weight and frequency. 

Flake Distribution 

Point-plots are lacking for the westernmost portion of 
Area 2C1. Fortunately, however, the quadrat counts 
from that subarea are so low that the information loss 
is not critical for assessing the spatial patterning. 
High frequencies of quartz flakes are associated with 
hearths 14 and 15 (Figure 39). Small numbers of 
quartz flakes lie immediately north and west of 
hearths 9 and 10; the southern and eastern sides of 
these features are virtually devoid of quartz. Hearths 
12 and 13 are also virtually devoid of quartz flakes. 
Ramah chert (Figure 40) exhibits virtually the same 
pattern as quartz except for a small cluster associat- 
ed with hearth 12. Virtually all the patinated Ramah 
chert (Figure 42) is associated with hearth 14. Small 
clusters of black chert flakes (Figure 43) are found 
adjacent to hearth 14 and directly associated with 



hearth 1 2. Cray Mugford chert is virtually absent from 
Area 2C. Slate flakes (Figure 44) of all color variants 
are mostly associated with hearth 14. Table 26 con- 
trasts the flake raw material frequencies and weights 
by the two subareas. By frequency there is little differ- 
ence between the subareas, but by weight Area 2C1 
has a relatively high proportion of Ramah chert. 

A more nuanced view might be provided by a 
breakdown of flake materials by hearth feature, 
essentially paralleling the /(-means cluster analysis of 
tools. Quadrats were grouped by feature proximity 
and in relation to breaks in flake density; outlying 
quadrats were eliminated (Table 27). The numbers 
for hearths 9 and 10 are uncertain, since the 1 m^ 
quadrats in this area cannot be as closely related to 
the features as the 50 cm^ quadrats further south. 
Hearths 10, 12, 13 and 14 all display high percent- 
ages of Ramah chert, in contrast to hearths 9 and 1 5 
which have high percentages of quartz. Taking into 
account the small sample sizes from some of the 
hearths and the incomplete excavation at the south- 
ern end of Area 2C, there is at least a suggestion of 
variations within each of the broader subareas used 
previously. 



132 



CHAPTER 6 



Table 26: Area 2C Flake Raw Material Frequencies and Weights by Subarea 



FREQUENCY 


WEIGHT 






2C2 N (%) 




^v-^ IN V/**/ 


2C2 N (%) 


TDTAI N 

1 Kj 1 rA Liny /o / 


Quartz 


94 (39.9) 


630 (40.1) 




^ O J J 


2416 (87.1) 




Ramah chert 


1 1 5 (48.7) 


825 (52.4) 




1 J -7 V J 1 . -7/ 


293 (10.6) 




Patinated Ramah 


6 (2.5) 


fin 




ftp, R fil 


7 4 en fi^ 


24 






Black chert 


13 (5.5) 


1 1 
1 1 


yj. 1 ) 




^8 rn c)^ 


2.4 


(0.1) 




Cray Mugford chert 


3 


(0.2) 






1.3 


(0.0) 


1 ^ en 4^ 


Slate— total 


8 (3.4) 


44 


(2.8) 






37 


(1.3) 


'^R7 (^0 7) 


Beige 


3 


9 






4 


22 




26 


Green 


3 


1 7 




20 


31 


252 




283 


Gray 


2 


13 




15 


22 


42 




64 


Gray- banded 




3 




3 




14 




14 


Red-brown 




2 




2 


4 


TOTAL 


236 


1573 




1809 





Table 27: Area 2C Flake Raw Material Frequencies by Hearth Feature 





H-9 N (%) 


H-10 N (%) 


H-12 N (%) 


H-13 N (%) 


H-14 N (%) 


H-1 5 N (%) 


Quartz 


79 


(82.3) 


2 (10.0) 


5 (7.0) 




310 (28.8) 


255 (71 .0) 


Ramah chert 


6 


(6.3) 


15 (75.0) 


55 (77.5) 


1 5 (93.8) 


671 (62.3) 


96 (26.7) 


Patinated Ramah 


4 


(4.2) 




2 (2.8) 




58 (5.4) 




Black chert 


2 


(2.1) 


2 (10.0) 


7 (9.9) 


1 (6.3) 


6 (0.6) 




Gray Mugford chert 










1 (0.1) 




Slate— total 


5 


(5.2) 


1 (5.0) 


2 (2.8) 




31 (2.9) 


8 (2.2) 


Beige 


3 










5 


2 


Green 






1 






1 1 


3 


Gray 


2 










1 2 


1 


Gray-banded 












2 


1 


Red-brown 1 1 


TOTAL 


96 




20 


71 


16 


1077 


359 



Red Ocher and Bone Distribution 

Figure 61 shows the distribution of red ocher stains 
and clumps as well as bone fragments. Some of the 
red ocher stains occur inside hearth 1 5, but most are 
concentrated in two areas on opposite sides of hearth 
14. The patches on the southwest side are larger and 
their configuration is virtually identical to the shape 



of the flake distribution present in the same area 
(Figure 68), suggesting their spatial extents were lim- 
ited by the same factors. The red ocher stains on the 
northeast side of hearth 14 are smaller, but they also 
fit fairly well with the accompanying flake distribu- 
tion. Together, these two patches are consistent with 
the tendency for a bounded linear distribution of 



NUKASUSUTOK-5: SPATIAL ANALYSIS 



133 



debitage running southwest-northeast across hearth 
14. Small clumps of red ocher lay within the bounds 
of hearth 1 4. 

A total of 651 tiny and unidentifiable calcined 
bone fragments occurred within and adjacent to hearth 
14; most of these were recovered by fine-sieving the 
charcoal samples. Associated with hearth 1 2 were 294 
tiny and equally unidentifiable bone fragments. 

Refitting 

Only broken tools were considered for refitting. A total 
of three items was refitted, but all the pieces lay with- 
in a few centimeters of each other. Thus, no connec- 
tion can be drawn between Areas 2C1 and 2C2 or 
between 2C and other parts of Area 2. 

Feature-Related Distributions, Size-Sorting and 
Cultural Formation Processes 

The small amount of lithic material from Area 2C1 ren- 
ders difficult any analysis of size-sorting. At 2C2, 
quartz block cores are concentrated around hearths 14 



and 15, although several are found in quadrats up to 
2 m southwards where they may have been cached or 
thrown. The distribution of large-sized tools tends to 
be centered around hearths 14 and 15 (Figure 62); to 
some extent this is correlated with a high frequency of 
quartz cores. When quartz flake size distributions are 
considered using the size-sorting index (Figure 62) 
there are three units with predominantly small flakes 
directly associated with and adjacent to hearth 1 4, and 
two units with tendencies towards larger flakes 
between hearths 14 and 15. Three other units to the 
south also have tendencies towards larger flakes; each 
of these units were associated with a quartz core. 
Thus, as at Area 2A, there is a tendency to find both 
small and large flake units in what might be expected 
to be drop zones around hearths. This may indicate a 
lack of maintenance or a spatial repositioning of 
quartz reduction from the initial reduction of block 
cores in one place (producing larger debitage) to sec- 
ondary reduction of bipolar cores in another place 
(producing smaller debitage). The tendency of units 



Table 28: Area 2C Total Lithic Raw Material Weights (Tools and Flakes). In Crams 





2C1 (g) 


2C2 (g) 


TOTAL (g) 


(%) 


Quartz 


575 


5109 


5684 (70.3) 


Ramah chert 


205 


877 


1082 (13.4) 


Patinated Ramah 


2.4 


24 


26.4 


(0.3) 


Black chert 


7.8 


2.4 


10.2 


(0.1) 


Cray Mugford chert 




1.3 


1.3 


(0.0) 


Slate— total 


6.5 


407 


439 


(5.4) 


Beige 


4.8 


25 


29.8 




Green 


31 


587 


618 




Cray 


22 


70 


92 




Cray-banded 




16 


16 




Red-brown 


1 


5.6 


6.6 




Cray-green speckled 




25 


25 




Schist 


665 


30.6 


695 


(8.6) 


Other 




145 


145 


(1.8) 



134 



CHAPTER 6 



with larger flake sizes to be associated with unreduced 
quartz block cores may support this. 

Consumption of Lithic Materials and 
Technological Organization. 

Given the paucity of material from Area 2C1 and the 
incomplete excavation of what seems to be a possible 
dwelling module at Area 2C2, there is not much point 
in drawing particular conclusions concerning raw 
material consumption and technological organization. 
The most relevant observation is that if Area 2C1 rep- 
resents a dwelling module then it indicates very little 
deposition of lithic materials, in sharp contrast to Area 
2C2 and especially to the inferred dwellings at Area 
2A. Table 28 outlines the total raw material weights 
(tools and flakes) from the Area 2C subareas. 

Variations in quartz and Ramah chert reduction 
patterns between Area 2C1 and 2C2 are outlined in 
Table 29. Perhaps the most striking observation is the 



almost complete lack of quartz bipolar cores (n=l) in 
contrast to an abundance of block cores. This might 
indicate quartz reduction by free hand percussion 
rather than by the bipolar technique. A second bipolar 
core is of Ramah chert. There is also a single small disc 
core of Ramah chert; its sharp edges and lack of crush- 
ing indicate that it was not a product of bipolar percus- 
sion; it is probably an extremely reduced tool frag- 
ment. Most of the Ramah chert biface-thinning flakes 
(Figure 63) are concentrated within a 1 m radius of 
hearth 14. The distribution of large biface-thinning 
flakes (Figure 63) is similar. 

As far as the other raw materials are concerned, 
the paucity of slate plates and blanks (n=l), combined 
with the modest representation of ground slate flakes, 
might indicate emphasis on tool maintenance rather 
than production. The extremely low frequency of black 
and Mugford chert also suggests a similar mainte- 
nance pattern. 




Module A Tool 

Rectangular structure Flake 



70/ Area 2C dwelling interpretations. 



NUKASUSUTOK-5 SPATIAL ANALYSIS 



Table 29: Summary of the Quartz and Ramah Chert Reduction Systems at Area 2C 



QUARTZ 





Tools 


Block Cores 


Bipolar 


Flakes 


Total Weight (g) 


Area 2C1 


2 


1 




94 


575g 



Area 2C2 20 16 1 630 5109 g 



RAMAH CHERT 





Tools Points 


Biface. Preforms 
Frags. 


Bipolar 
Cores 


Disc 
Cores 


Biface- 
Thinning 


Flakes 


Total 
Weight (g) 


Area 2C1 


7 1 


1 


1 




16 


121 


207 g 


Area 2C2 


34 


4 4 




1 


98 


885 


901 g 



Area 2C Conclusions 

Area 2C received insufficient excavation to draw many 
robust conclusions about spatial patterning. The visu- 
al impression is that the four form/function differenti- 
ated hearths at Area 2C1 may constitute a dwelling 
module in a pattern reminiscent of Area 2A. 
Unfortunately, the sparse lithics provide little addition- 
al contextual material to evaluate this. On the other 
hand, the low density lithic distribution, combined with 
a 6100 B.P. radiocarbon date, militate against this con- 
figuration being part of a longhouse structure affiliat- 
ed with Area 2A. At Area 2C2 the hearths and linear 
flake distributions strongly suggest a dwelling module 
similar to those inferred from the "lobes" at Area 2A 
(Figure 70). If the Area 2C2 hearth/flake configurations 



represent dividers in a segmented rectangular struc- 
ture, then that structure would be aligned northwest- 
southeast, parallel with the beach front (Figure 70), in 
contrast to the perpendicular orientation at Area 2A. 
The area of sparse deposition between hearth 14 and 
hearths 1 2 and 1 3 could then be viewed as a flanking 
floor space similar those inferred for the southern rec- 
tangular structure at Area 2A. It might even be possi- 
ble to suggest that the hearths at 2C1 (at least hearths 
1 2 and 1 3) are part of the same longhouse structure, 
although this would require that the longhouse is par- 
titioned into large segments of high and low deposi- 
tion intensity. Clarification of these alternatives can 
only be had by extending the Area 2C2 excavation 
towards the southeast. 



CHAPTER 6 




Nukasusutok-5, Area 2A, 1979, with Jack Contin and Chuck Curtis. (Photo: B. l-iood) 



NUKASUSUTOK-5 SPATIAL ANALYSIS 




138 



CHAPTER 7 



Nu kasusuto 
Areas 1 an 



This chapter presents analyses of Areas 1 and 3 at 
Nukasusutok-5. The treatment of Area 1 is brief since 
the size of the excavation field was small and there 
were few features and formal tools. Area 3 is discussed 
more in-depth, given the presence of unusual red 
ocher features. 

Area 1 

Area 1 was a small 16 m^ excavation field at the edge 
of the blow-out towards the eastern end of the site 
(Figures 21, 22, 71). On the southwest side of the 
excavation was a cluster of rocks, half of which were 
inside the bounds of the excavation, half outside. 
Measuring 1.5 m in diameter, the cluster consisted of 
small cobbles and a few flat slabs. The feature was 
entirely deflated and no tools, charcoal or red ocher 
were associated with it, only a few flakes. To the north- 
west in the blow-out were rock clusters that may rep- 
resent three or four hearths. The most northerly of 
these was 1 m in diameter and consisted of eight cob- 
bles and one flat slab. It was accompanied by charcoal 
flecks and small granules of red ocher as well as by 
Ramah chert, quartz, slate and black chert flakes. The 
other features had no visible cultural material. 

The in situ deposits showed that beneath the sur- 
face vegetation and humus there were fine mottled 
brown sands extending to about 30 cm below the sur- 
face, where they contacted beach gravel. A thin, dis- 
continuous leaching zone was present. Lithic material 
occurred from just below the humus to about 25 cm 

NUKASUSUTOK'5: AREAS 1 AND 3 



below the surface. The area was excavated in 5 cm 
levels, which were lumped together for analytical 
purposes. 

Flakes 

The total flake distribution is shown in Figure 71 , while 
Figures 72 to 74 depict the distribution of individual 
raw material types by plots and quadrat counts. Quartz 
is frequent in the eastern extension of Area 1 and 
occurs in a major concentration near the center of the 
excavation. There is also a dense concentration of 
mostly fingernail-sized fragments beside a rock at 
37.30x 52.80y. This concentration was probably the 
result of a single reduction event involving one or 
more quartz cores. There is also a more diffuse oval 
concentration of quartz in 36x51-52y. Ramah chert 
frequencies are modest over most of the excavation, 
but there is a higher frequency cluster in 36x51-52y, 
the same location as the diffuse quartz concentration. 
Only one flake of patinated Ramah chert and two 
biface-thinning flakes of Ramah were identified. A few 
black chert flakes are present, mostly towards the cen- 
ter of the excavation, and only two slate flakes were 
recovered. Table 30 summarizes the flake raw materi- 
al frequencies and weights. 

Tools 

The excavated tool distribution is shown by quadrat in 
Figure 75, while Table 31 outlines the implement 
classes from the excavated area as well as those sur- 

1 39 



face collected from the blow-out by the Smithsonian 
Institution. The single quartz bipolar core from Area 1 
is in the same quadrat as two quartz block cores. The 
third block core lies close to the concentration of small 
quartz flakes in 37x52y. All the utilized flakes (exclu- 
sively Ramah chert) occur in the eastern extension of 
the excavation. One of the biface fragments (black 
chert) is associated with the probable hearth on the 
west side of the excavation, while the other (slate) lies 
to the north of the feature. The collection is so small 
and unrepresentative that little can be inferred from it. 



Table 30: Area 1 Flake Raw Materials by 
Frequency and Weight 





N (%) 


WT (g) 


Quartz 


1 1 73 (75.0) 


3892 (96.1) 


Ramah chert 


376 (24.0) 


151 (3.7) 


Black chert 


13 (0.8) 


2 (0.0) 


Cray Mugford chert 


1 (0.1) 


1 (0.0) 


Cray slate 


2 (0.1) 


5 (0.1) 


TOTAL 


1 565 


4051 


Table 31. Area 1 Tool Class Frequencies. 


Excavation Surface 


N % 


Bifacial points 


1 4 


5 (1 1.6 ) 


Flake points 


4 


4 ( 9.3) 


Bifaces 


1 1 


2 (4.7) 


Endscrapers 


3 


3 (7.0) 


Flake knives 


3 


3 (7.0) 


Utilized flakes 


4 1 8 


22 (51.2) 


Bipolar cores 


1 


1 (2.3) 


Block cores 


3 


3 (7.0) 


TOTAL 


10 33 


43 



Area 3 

Area 3 lay 38 m west of Area 2, slightly downslope on 
a narrow, gently sloping terrace at 28 m asl. (Figure 
22). In 1979 shovel-testing on the terrace revealed a 
remarkable red ocher deposit, so an excavation area of 



28 was opened. Three more features were 

exposed, two of which had red ocher deposits (Figure 
76). Additional shovel tests along the terrace provided 
negative results except in one area 4.5 m southwest of 
the main excavation, where a Ramah chert biface base 
was uncovered. An additional excavation unit 1 by 3 m 
in size was opened at that spot, but only a few quartz 
flakes and a small fleck of red ocher were encountered. 

The red ocher features were initially believed to be 
burials, but evaluation of this hypothesis was compli- 
cated by the presence of an almost impenetrable 
indurated soil horizon (cemented "hardpan") that lay 
beneath the entire surface of Area 3. During the 1980 
field season the cemented zone beneath two of the red 
ocher features was pick-axed down to the underlying 
bedrock, but no evidence for interments was found. 
The interpretation of these features remains problem- 
atic and is discussed further at the end of this chapter. 

This section begins with a discussion of the 
unique pedological situation at Area 3. A description of 
the features is then provided, followed by a considera- 
tion of their artifact associations. After a discussion of 
dating, some interpretive possibilities are presented. 

Pedology 

The soil profile from Area 3 (Figure 77) can be classi- 
fied within the Ortstein Ferro-Humic Podzol subgroup 
(Canada Soil Survey Committee, Subcommittee on Soil 
Classification 1 978). The profile has a thin humus hori- 
zon underneath a vegetation mat of lichen, crowberry 
and dwarf birch. A 2 cm thick light gray leaching hori- 
zon is underlain by a mottled red-brown horizon con- 
taining black-coated, cohering sand grains. In some 
places this changes abruptly into a platey-textured 
semi-cemented horizon, which in turn grades into an 
indurated horizon measuring up to 50 cm thick. The 
indurated horizon lies directly upon bedrock which, in 
the center of Area 3, was contacted at 80 cm below the 
present ground surface. Within the iron-consolidated 
zone is a considerable amount of semi-decomposed 
roots. The extremely dark colouration of the sand 



140 



CHAPTER 7 



40x55y 



40x53y 







Quartz flakes 





36x57y 



o 







o 




^ 9(9 • 



CD 

a...- 



V/ 



36x51y 



Q 




Flake concentration 

Flat rock 







134 


163 


Quartz flakes 






63 


113 








3 


5 


102 


464 


34 


4 




1 


1 


10 


4 


41 


31 





72/ Area 1: distribution of quartz flakes. 



40x55y 



40x53y 



O 



Ramah chert flakes 

1 



36x57y 



O 



.;-0 



CPs 



a-' 




Q 




°Q Flat rock 



36x51 y 







p=i 
8 


22 


Ramah chert flakes 






14 


16 








5 


6 


33 


16 


8 


4 




12 


18 


35 

BTF=1 


4 


61 


114 

BTF=1 





BTF= biface-thinning flake 
P= patinated Ramah chert 



73/ Area 1 : distribution of Ramah chert flakes. 



makes it very difficult to identify possible feature-relat- 
ed colour shifts. 

Field investigations in 1979 determined that this 
cemented soil horizon was present under most of the 
western end of Nukasustok-5, from Smithsonian Test 
Pit C to the entire surface of Area 3. Although the 
appearance of the podzol profile itself was sufficient 
evidence to question Fitzhugh's (1978:77) suggestion 
that this was fat-consolidated sand, the extensive spa- 
tial distribution of this pedological feature cast even 
more doubt on the interpretation. Samples of the Area 



3 indurated horizon were analysed in the laboratory 
for total organic carbon using the Walkley-Black wet 
oxidation method (Jackson 1958:219-222). The results 
indicated the cemented horizon did not contain any 
more organic carbon than samples from the surround- 
ing soil matrix or from Area 2. A sample of the indurat- 
ed horizon procured by the Smithsonian in 1975 from 
Test Pit C was subjected to amino acid analysis by 
David Von Endt of the Smithsonian Institution. No 
amino acids were identified in this sample (Fitzhugh, 
personal communication). In addition, the total iron 



NUKASUSUTOK 5: AREAS 1 AND 3 



141 





























Black chert flakes 






Gray slate flakes 








3 


2 












1 












1 


2 


3 


1 




1 








2 












(a) 








(b) 









74/ Area 1 : distribution of blacl< chert and gray slate flakes. 



(a) 



Utilized flakes 



Bipolar cores 



(b) 



75/ Area I : distribution of utilized flakes, bipolar cores, block cores and bifaces. 



content was determined by atomic absorption spec- 
trophotometry (Hood 1981; Appendix C). The Area 3 
profile exhibited an iron-depleted A horizon and iron- 
enriched B horizon consistent with podzolization. The 
cemented soil horizon is therefore a natural pedologi- 
cal phenomena, not a cultural deposit. 

As the discussion below will demonstrate, 
Maritime Archaic people engaged in some degree of 
sub-surface activity at Area 3, so the genesis of the 
iron pan must have begun subsequent to the occupa- 
tion, which is suggested to date ca. 5000 B.P.. 
Precisely when iron pan formation began is impossible 
to determine without further analysis, but radiocarbon 
dating the onset of such pedological features is 
plagued by complex problems related to how organic 



carbon is incorporated into cemented horizons 
(Lascelles et al. 2000). An important question is 
whether iron-pan genesis was a strictly local phenom- 
enon, perhaps a consequence of changes in topogra- 
phy and drainage related to marine shoreline displace- 
ment, or whether it was triggered by broader climatic 
changes such as increased precipitation. Answering 
this question is problematic because the causes of 
iron-pan formation are not well understood. Several 
mechanisms have been proposed: translocation of 
weathered iron minerals by a fluctuating water table, 
translocation of iron and aluminum bound up with 
organic compounds (chelates), or inorganic transloca- 
tion and precipitation of iron (Anderson et al. 1982; 
Davidson 1987; Moore 1976). 



142 



CHAPTER 7 



22xt21y 



19xl21y 



76/ Area 3: level I features. 



20x11 9y 



Features 

The four features at Area 3 
(Figures 76, 78, 79) were clus- 
tered together, evenly spaced 
about 2-2.5 m distant from each 
other (center to center). Along 
the northeast edge of Feature 1 
was a sand hummock (Figure 
76), which when cross-sec- 
tioned revealed an upper 
leached zone underlain by mot- 
tled brown sand, then a char- 
coal layer overlying red ocher. 
This sequence indicates that the 
hummock covers the edge of 
the feature and thus must post- 
date it. The hummock is likely a 
product of aeolian action and 
downslope movement. Each of 
the cultural features will be 
described in turn. 



Feature 1: Feature 1 consisted 
of an oval stain of red ocher, 
1.2 m in diameter and 4 cm 
thick at its center, which was 
capped by a loose arrangement 
of small cobbles oriented 
towards the center of the ocher 
(Figures 76, 80, 81 ). A thick lin- 
ear deposit of charcoal, 1.8 m 
long and 40 cm wide, lay direct- 
ly on top of the ocher, crossing 
the entire feature in a north- 
east-southwest direction. The subsurface beneath 
Feature 1 was excavated down to bedrock, which 
required the assistance of a pick-axe to penetrate the 
indurated layer. The only subsurface feature identified 
was a peculiar lens of yellow sand that lay ca. 30 cm 
beneath the western edge of the red ocher deposit 
(Figure 82). This lens was 85 cm by 65 cm in size, with 




23x1 15y 



Thick red ocher 
I I Diffuse red ocher 
^ Small red ocher patch 
Charcoal 
Hummock 



18x115y 



22x1 19y 




Vegetation/peat 
I I Gray leached sand 
I I Brown mottled sand 



Platey iron pan 

Completely indurated iron pan 
Bedrock 



77/ Area 3: soil profile. 



an irregular depth ranging from 2.5 to 7 cm. Charcoal 
was present on top of and within the upper portion of 
the sand, slightly off-center. A utilized flake of Ramah 
chert was associated with the sand. It is difficult to 
account for this lens. Its peculiar form indicates it was 
not a single decayed rock, although it might have con- 
sisted of several rocks of similar composition clustered 



NUKASUSUTOK-5: AREAS 1 AND 3 



143 




78/ Area 3 overview, Feature 1 excavated. 




79/ Area 3: vertical bipod photo, Feature 1 excavated. 

together. It is unlikely to have been related to organic 
material since the rapid decay of the latter would have 
resulted in the lens having been cemented and discol- 
ored by the strong iron translocation processes. 

Directly associated with the surface of Feature 1 
were; a small ground slate celt, a ground slate flake, a 
fragment of a beveled ground slate tool, a flake knife 
of Ramah chert, several fragments of a hexagonal 
cross-sectioned implement of ground slate ( possibly a 
woodworking tool), part of a slate blank, a bipolar core 



and two utilized flakes. There 
were also flakes of quartz, 
Ramah chert and slate. 

Two radiocarbon dates 
were obtained from Feature 1. 
The first sample consisted of 
charcoal from the thick deposit 
on top of the red ocher and it 
produced a date of 2845±70 
B.P. (UCa-3869). This was unac- 
ceptably late, so a second 
date was run on charcoal from 
Level 2, beneath the red ocher 
deposit. The result was closer 
to expectations: 5090±95 B.P. 
(SI-5534). 



Feature 2: At the center of 
Feature 2 (Figure 76, 79, 83) 
was a roughly circular arrange- 
ment of small cobbles and flat 
slabs, 75 cm in diameter. About 
30 cm to the northeast were 
three flat slabs associated with 
a small red ocher stain that 
contained a pocket of charcoal. 
Several other rocks lay scat- 
tered to the west and south- 
west of the circular arrange- 
ment. The sub-surface of 
Feature 2 was pick-axed down 
to bedrock. Underneath were a number of rocks; two 
large ones were situated on the southeastern edge of 
the feature while a series of small rocks was posi- 
tioned in an arc along its northwestern edge (Figure 
82). A patch of red ocher and charcoal lay directly 
underneath the main surface level concentration. 
Nearby were two small posthole-like concentrations of 
yellow sand, similar to that found beneath Feature 1 . 
Together, these features suggest a subsurface activity 
area 1 .6 m by 1 .3 m in size. 



144 



CHAPTER 7 



80/ Area 3: Feature 1. 



Four tools were directly 
associated with the feature: two 
flake points of Ramah chert, an 
endscraper of fine-grained 
beige IVlugford chert, and a 
quartz core. A substantial 
amount of quartz flakes was 
also associated with Feature 2 
(see below). 

Feature 3: Feature 3 (Figures 76, 
79, 84) was similar in configura- 
tion to Feature 1 . It consisted of 
an oval red ocher stain, 1 m in 
diameter and 4 cm thick, 
capped by a flat rock slab and 
several smaller cobbles. The fea- 
ture was cross-sectioned and 
excavated down to the top of 
the indurated horizon. This pro- 
cedure revealed a considerable 
amount of charcoal underneath 
the ocher, beneath which was a 
cluster of small cobbles and 
quartz chunks packed into an 
area of 80 by 45 cm (Figure 82, 
85). Excavation of the indurated 
zone was not attempted. Tools 
directly associated with the fea- 
ture included: a flake point of 
Ramah chert, a chlorite schist 

tablet, a utilized flake, and a bipolar core. There was 
also a considerable quantity of quartz flakes. Two 
radiocarbon dates were run on charcoal from Feature 3: 
2770±205 B.P. (UCa-3159) and 2805±70 B.P. (UCa- 
3870). Both were unacceptably recent. 

Feature 4 

This feature (Figure 76), left mostly unexcavated, con- 
sisted of a cluster of small cobbles that may have 
extended beyond the limit of the excavation. No red 





81/ Area 3: Feature I vertical bipod pinoto. 



ocher was present, but a charcoal stain lay adjacent to 
the cobble cluster. 

Flake Distribution 

Figures 86 to 88 depict the point-plotted and quadrat 
distributions of flake raw materials. The point-plotted 
flakes are presented in two levels, the first being the 
gray leached zone and upper portion of the red-brown 
sand (ca. 5-1 cm), the second consisting of the lower 
red-brown sand and the underlying iron-consolidated 



NUKASUSUTOK-5: AREAS 1 AND 3 



145 



22x121y 



I9x121y 



82/ Area 3 level 2 features. 



horizon. The upper level quartz 
flakes cluster somewhat with 
Features 2 and 3, but have a 
much more diffuse spread near 
Feature 1. Two small clusters of 
quartz flakes, representing 
either individual reduction 
episodes or intentional deposi- 
tion, lie between Features 1 , 2 
and 3. Ramah chert flakes in the 
upper level have a diffuse over- 
all distribution but are clearly 
associated with Features 1 and 
3, which display the most 
intense red ocher concentra- 
tions. Slate flakes from the 
upper layer are associated only 
with Feature 1 . The lower level 
quartz flakes are clustered 
underneath Features 2 and 3. At 
Feature 2 they form an oval or 
circular pattern more-or-less 
coterminous with the buried 
rock cluster, while at Feature 3 
they lie immediately adjacent to 
(though rarely within) the sub- 
surface rock cluster. Lower 
level Ramah chert is associated 
exclusively with Feature 2. 
Three flakes were measured at 
ca. 50 cm below the sand sur- 
face along the western edge of the feature. Almost all 
the lower level slate flakes occur in a small concentra- 
tion adjacent to the cluster of rocks beneath Feature 3. 

The lower level flakes, combined with the buried 
rocks, indicate some degree of deposition below the 
surfaces of Features 2 and 3. Beneath Feature 2 this 
deposition appears as a somewhat circular "basin" 1.7 
m in diameter and up to 40 cm deep, while beneath 
Feature 3 there is a basin 1 .0 by 0.8 m in size and 1 5- 
20 cm deep. Feature 1 lacked indications of subsurface 



F1 




F3 



23x1 15y 



LI ocher features 



18x115y 




83/ Area 3: Feature 2. 



flake deposition, as did the buried yellow sand lens 
that seemed to be associated with the feature. 

Table 32 tabulates the flake raw material varia- 
tions in relation to the features, based on the quadrat 
counts. The 1 m quadrats fit reasonably well with the 
features, with the exception of 20x1 1 6/1 1 7y, which lie 
between Features 1, 2 and 3 in an area of seeming 
overlap. These units have been treated separately. 
Figure 89 shows the quadrat groupings used in the 
analysis. The figures for Feature 4 are incomplete, 



146 



CHAPTER 7 



Table 32: Area 3 Flake Raw Material Frequencies by Feature 





F 1 


F-2 


F 3 


F-4 


OVERLAP 


OTHER 


TOTAL 




N (%) 


N (%) 


N (%) 


N (%) 


N (%) 


N (%) 


N (%) 


Quartz 


120 (57.4) 


704 (96.0) 


405 (83.9) 


18(66.7) 


293 (86.7) 


29 (63.0) 


1 569 (85.5) 


Ramah chert 


79 (37.8) 


28 (3.8) 


69(14.3) 


8 (29.6) 


42 (12.4) 


12 (26.1) 


238 (13.0) 


Patinated Ramah 


1 (0.5) 












1 (0.0) 


Slate total 


9 (4.3) 


1 (0.1) 


9 (1.9) 


1 (3.7) 


3 (0.9) 


5 (10.9) 


28 (1.5) 


beige 


9 




1 


1 


3 


4 


17 


gray 




1 


7 








1 


gray-banded 1 1 


red-brown 1 1 


TOTAL 


209 


733 


483 


27 


338 


46 


1836 



Table 33: Area 3 Tool Class Frequencies by Feature 




F 1 


F-2 


F-3 Overlap F-4 


Other 


TOTAL N(%) 


Bifaces 


1 




1 1 




3 


(4.5) 


Biface preforms 








1 


1 


(1.5) 


Flake points 




2 


1 




3 


(4.5) 


Scrapers/knives 


1 


1 






2 


(3.0) 


Utilized flakes 


4 


2 


4 2 


1 


1 3 


(19.4) 


Celts 


1 








1 


(1.5) 


Hexagonal slate tool 


0.5* 


0.5 






1 


(1.5) 


Slate blanks 


0.5 


0.5 






1 


(1.5) 


Ground slate flakes 


6 




3 1 1 


3 


14 


(20.9) 


Bipolar cores 


1 


1 


1 1 


1 


5 


(7.5) 


Block cores 


3 


6 


5 6 




20 


(29.9) 


Disc cores 








1 


1 


(1.5) 


Schist tablets 






2 




2 


(3.0) 


TOTAL 


18 


13 


17 9 3 


7 


67 





.5 denotes a conjoining fragment 



since it was not excavated fully. All the features exhib- 
it a high proportion of quartz, although Features 1 and 
4 also have moderate proportions of Ramah chert. 
Inspection of the chi-square expected frequencies for 
this table (treating slate generically) indicates that 

NUKASUSUTOK-5 AREAS 1 AND 3 



Feature 1 has a higher than expected frequency of 
Ramah chert, while Feature 2 has a lower than expect- 
ed frequency of Ramah. Slate is notable for its paucity, 
although it is mainly associated with Features 1 and 3. 
Fine-grained cherts are absent. 

147 



84/ Area 3: Feature 3. 



Tool Distribution 

Figure 90 portrays the plotted 
tool distribution along with the 
results of a /(-means cluster 
analysis. A four cluster solution 
seems best: cluster 1 is associ- 
ated with Feature 3, cluster 3 
with Feature 2 and clusters 2 
and 4 with Feature 1 . There is a 
strong tendency for tools to be 
associated with the features. 
Since Area 3 has some of the 
same provenience problems as 
Area 2A (many bipolar cores 
and utilized flakes only prove- 
nienced to 1 m^ grids), further 
analysis was conducted using 
the quadrat distributions of the 
tool classes (Figures 91 to 96). 
Quadrat groupings were the 
same as used for the flakes 
(Figure 89). Table 33 presents 
tool class frequencies broken 
down by their association with 
the different features. The tool 
class frequencies are low, but 
one might point to the associa- 
tion of flake points with Feature 
2, slate tool fragments with 
Feature 1 (one hexagonal cross- 
section fragment, possibly of a 

woodworking implement, and ground slate flakes) and 
schist tablets and fragments with Feature 3. Variations 
in tool raw materials (Table 34) are not particularly 
instructive, except insofar as Feature 1 is associated 
with quite a few items of Ramah chert (paralleling its 
higher than expected frequency of Ramah chert flakes) 
and slate. In contrast to the paucity of slate flakes, 
slate tools or fragments thereof are fairly common. 

The tool distribution can also be considered by 
depth, which was recorded by depth below surface and 





85/ Area 3: Feature 3 sectioned, showing rock cluster beneath the red ocher layer. 



soil profile level. As with the flakes, two levels can be 
distinguished: the upper level consisting of the gray 
leached zone and the top portion of the red-brown 
sand, the second consisting of the lower red-brown 
sand and the underlying iron-consolidated horizon. At 
Feature 1,15 implements were associated with the 
upper level, while 4 occurred in the lower level. The lat- 
ter included a bipolar core of Ramah chert, two utilized 
flakes of Ramah chert (one at ca. 43 cm below the sand 
surface, directly associated with the yellow sand lens) 



148 



CHAPTER 7 



Table 34. Area 3 Tool Raw Material Frequencies by Feature. 





F-1 


F-2 


F-3 


Overlap 


F-4 


Other 


TOTAL 


Quartz 


3 


7 


5 


6 




1 


22 (32.8) 


Ramah chert 


7 


4 


7 


1 


2 


3 


24 (35.8) 


Slate total 


8 


1 


3 


2 


1 


3 


18 (26.9) 


beige 


5 






1 


1 




7 


gray 


.5* 


.5 


3 






1 


5 


green 


.5 


.5 








1 


2 


gray-banded 1 1 


red-brown 


1 






1 




1 


3 


Mugford chert 




1 










1 (1.5) 


Schist 






2 








2 (3.0) 


TOTAL 


18 


13 


17 


9 


3 


7 


67 


.5 denotes a conjoining fragment 



and a flake knife of Ramah chert 1 cm above the yel- 
low sand lens. At Features 2 and 3, all the point-prove- 
nienced tools lay within the upper level. 

Refits 

It was possible to refit pieces of three tools at Area 3 
(Figure 90). One refit consisted of a hexagonal cross- 
sectioned ground slate implement (probable wood- 
working tool) that was broken into five fragments, four 
of which refit within Feature 1 , while one fragment lay 
near the northwest edge of Feature 2 (Figure 94). A 
slate blank fragment associated with Feature 1 was 
conjoined with a fragment from the east side of 
Feature 2 (Figure 94). These two refits suggest a 
behavioral connection between Features 1 and 2. 
Finally, two pieces of a Ramah chert flake point refit 
over a short distance at Feature 2. 

Consumption of Lithic Raw Materials and 
Technological Organization 

Table 35 summarizes the weights of flake and tool 
materials at Area 3. Quartz clearly dominates, with 
only small amounts of other raw materials being repre- 
sented. Slate occurs primarily as tools; very little 



occurs as flakes. Mugford chert is represented by a sin- 
gle tool (endscraper). Table 36 outlines the products of 
the quartz and Ramah chert reduction systems at Area 
3. Quartz is notable for a high frequency of block cores 
and relatively few bipolar cores. The Ramah chert 
assemblage is too small to draw any firm conclusions, 
but it might be noted that 1 of the 1 7 biface-thinning 
flakes (BTFs) were classified as "large" (>30 mm), an 
unusually high proportion. Figure 97 shows the distri- 
bution of BTFs by quadrat; three were associated with 
Feature 1, three with Feature 2 and 1 1 with Feature 3. 
Eight of the ten large BTFs were associated with 
Feature 3. 

Dating 

Table 37 summarizes the radiocarbon dates for Area 3. 
Only one of the four dates is reliable. The date of 
5090±95 B.P. was run on alder/birch and willow char- 
coal procured from the subsurface of Feature 1 , thus it 
is contextually more secure than the overlying charcoal 
deposit from which the 2845±70 B.P. date was derived. 
The latter sample and all the other later date samples 
contained coniferous material (Dosia Laeyendecker, 
personal communication). Given that pollen (Short 



NUKASUSUTOK 5: AREAS 1 AND 3 



149 



L-1 quartz flakes 



22x121y 



19x121y 




23x1 15y 



L-2 quartz flakes 



22x121y 



19xl21y 




18x1 15y 



23x1 15y 







3 


119 


94 


84 


4 


10 


18 


105 


282 


20 


5 


69 


8 


245 


48 


2 


8 


15 




74 


233 


62 




9 


9 


31 


5 







11 



Quartz flakes 



86/ Area 3 distribution of quartz flal<es. (a) Level 1 . (b) Level 2. (c) Total. 



1978:32) and macrofossil data indicate the first conif- 
erous forest did not migrate to the Nain area until 
4500-4200 B.P., and that there is no indication of Late 
Maritime Archaic lithic material at Area 3, the three 
third millennium B.P. dates likely pertain to a post- 
occupation burn event. Consequently, the large char- 
coal concentration overlying Feature 1 was not part of 
the ritual practice involved in constructing the feature. 

Relative sea-level dating is of little help. According 
to the uplift curve presented in Figure 5, Area 3's ele- 
vation of 28 m asl. corresponds to ca. 6800 B.P., but 



nothing in the lithic material suggests the locality is 
that old. If we accept the 5000 B.P. radiocarbon date, 
then Area 3 was positioned far above its contemporary 
shoreline, ca. 1 2 m asl. 

The paucity of tool material at Area 3 provides 
only a slim basis for typological dating. A stemmed 
flake point from Feature 2 is almost identical to one 
from Area 2A (Figures 1 13:a and 100:j, respectively). 
The presence of quartz block cores, flake points, an 
endscraper of Mugford chert and schist tablets is gen- 
erally consistent with the Area 2 assemblage and 



CHAPTER 7 



Table 35. Area 3 Total Lithic Raw Material Weights (Tools and Flakes). In Crams. 









Total (n\ (%\ 


Qu3rtz 




J OOD \0 1 .\Jl 


1 nafin ^ ^q? a'* 


r\arridll Lllci I 








Dciyt: IvIuyiUlU LriclL 






1 01 


C 1 rito tnta 1 


1 / . J \\J .D ) 




1 ? ? n 11 


Be iQC 


1 J . J 




? ? ? 


G r3,y 


1 . C. 






Cray-banded 


0.2 




0.2 


Red-brown 


1 


68 


69 


Green 




22 


22 


Schist 




269 (6.1) 


269 (2.4) 



Table 36. Summary of the Quartz and Ramah Chert Reduction Systems at Area 3. 



QUARTZ 

Tools Block Cores Bipolar cores Flakes Total Weight 

24 18 2 1569 10460 



RAMAH CHERT 

Tools Points Biface Frags. Preforms Bipolar Cores Disc Cores Biface-Thinning Flakes Total Wt 

23 - 2 1 3 1 17 238 467 



Table 37. Radiocarbon Dates from Area 3. Calibrated with OxCal 3.10 (Bronk-Ramsey 2005). 



Provenience 


B.P. 


Calibrated BC 1& 


Lab.No. 


Comment 


Feature 1 , level 2 


5090±95 


3980-3770 


SI-5534 


alder/birch, willow 


Feature 1 , overlying 


2845±70 




UCa-3869 


coniferous In undated feature sample 


Feature 3 


2770±205 




UCa-31 59 


birch and conifer in undated feature sample 


Feature 3 


2805±70 




UCa-3870 


birch and conifer In undated feature sample 



points to a common Middle Maritime Archaic peri- 
odization. 

Area 3 Conclusions 

The Area 3 features, especially 1 and 3, bear at least a 
superficial resemblance to Maritime Archaic mortuary 



features. Burials at the Rattlers Bight cemetery 
(Fitzhugh 1 976a: 1 23- 1 2 5 , Fitzhugh 1978a:85, 
Fitzhugh 2006) consisted of red ocher-lined pits, 0.75- 
1 m in diameter, that were generally covered by flat 
slab rocks and layers of sand and rock fill. A similar 
pattern was documented at the Port au Choix cemetery 



NUKASUSUTOK-5: AREAS 1 AND 3 



151 



L-1 Ramah chert flakes 



22x121y 



19x121y 





. 



Co 




- o ° 



23x1 15y 



18x115y 



L-2 Ramah chert flakes 



22x121y 



19x121y 




23x1 15y 



18xl15y 



Ramah chert flakes 









6 


5 


6 


3 


9 


8 


3 


7 


1 


7 


53 


4 


26 


16 


2 




5 




1 


58 


8 




8 




2 









87/ Area 3: distribution of Rama ii chert flakes, (a) Level I . (b) Level 2. (c) Total. 



(Tuck 1976:12-13). However, the initial suspicion that 
the features discovered at Area 3 might be burials 
could not be confirmed. Extreme post-occupation pod- 
zolization processes marked by extensive transloca- 
tion of iron and humic acids eliminated any possibility 
of using variation in soil colour to identify sub-surface 
pits. On the other hand, the clustered distribution of 
rocks, flakes and a small number of tools beneath the 
surface of features 1, 2 and 3 indicates deliberate and 
focused sub-surface deposition. An initial alternative 
interpretation of the features was that they could be an 



expression of mortuary ceremonialism without inter- 
ment: "cenotaphs" for comrades lost at sea without 
recovery of their bodies (Hood 1 981 :1 38) . 

But accumulating knowledge of the northern 
Maritime Archaic indicates the culture was marked by 
such a varied array of ritual expression in material cul- 
ture that non-mortuary practices should also be con- 
sidered. For example, red ocher deposits are often 
associated with hearths, either as flecks adjacent to 
the features or as distinct deposits within hearth pits. 
This hearth association may be related to processing 



152 



CHAPTER 7 



L-1 slate flakes 



22x12ly 



19x121y 




23x1 15y 



18xl15y 



L-2 slate flakes 



22x1 21 y 



19x12ly 




23x1 15y 



18x115y 



Slate flakes 







8=1 








RB=1 




8=1 




G=1 




8=3 


8=7 




8=3 








8=1 




8=1 
G8=1 


G=7 






8=1 













8= beige 
G= gray 

G8= gray-banded 
R8= red-brown 



88/ Area 3: distribution of slate flakes, (a) Level I. (b) Level 2. (c) Total. 



hematite by heat alteration and/or it may connect 
ocher with transformation symbolism (cooking, ther- 
mal alteration). Traces of combustion in the form of 
charcoal were found at all the Area 3 features. The 
charcoal layer overlying Feature 1 may post-date the 
feature, but there was also scattered charcoal within 
and below the red ocher deposit. At Feature 2, a pock- 
et of charcoal occurred within the red ocher deposit, 
while at Feature 3 charcoal was concentrated beneath 
the red ocher and above a concentration of small cob- 
bles and quartz chunks. Although the Area 3 features 



are clearly not conventional hearths, their meaning 
should be considered in terms of how their constitu- 
tive elements might signal metaphorical relations with 
the domestic features. A more systematic documenta- 
tion of red ocher's relationship with hearths of differ- 
ent form/function would provide a better context for 
understanding the varied associations of the material. 

One of the interesting aspects of the features is 
their spatial patterning, which combines an alternating 
or oppositional sequencing of forms with a possible 
directional orientation. The two features with thick 



NUKASUSUTOK 5: AREAS 1 AND 3 



153 




89/ Area 3 quadrat groupings used in the analyses. 




♦ Biface 

* Flake point 
+ Bipolar core 
■ Block core 

Disc core 



• Endscraper 
Flake knife 

• Celt 

• Hexagonal state tool 



18xl15y 



o Slate blank 

> Ground slate flake 

■ Scfiist tablet 

• Utilized flake 



90/ Area 3: tool distribution and k-means cluster analysis. 

oval deposits of red ocher (Features 1 and 3) lie oppo- 
site each other along an axis that is almost north- 
south. The other two features, which either lack red 
ocher (Feature 4) or contain only a modest amount 
(Feature 2), lie opposite each other along an east-west 



23x1 15y 



22x121y 



19x121y 



Block and 



D=1 



18x115/ 



disc cores D= disc core 



92/ Area 3 distribution of block cores. 

axis. This may be merely coincidental and we have no 
means of ascertaining contemporaneity between the 
features other than a couple of refits possibly connect- 
ing Features 1 and 2. Nonetheless, the nearly equidis- 
tant spacing of the features relative to each other sug- 
gests deliberate placement. The only patterning in lith- 
ic materials consonant with this spatial arrangement is 
that the major red ocher features (1 and 3) tend to be 
more strongly associated with Ramah chert and slate. 
Understanding these features and their contextual 
relationships will require comparative data from other 
Maritime Archaic sites. 



154 



CHAPTER 7 



23x1 15y 



22x121y 



19x121y 













1 
















1 










1 


1 










ar cores 






1 






18x115y 



95/ ,4refl 3; distribution of bipolar cores. 



18x1 15y 



22x121y 



19x121y 





















ST=.5 




SB=.5 




ST=1 
C=1 


SB=5 












— ; 

ST=.5 








tools 












18x1 15y 



ST= slate tool (fragment) SB = slate blank C = celt 



94/ Area 3: distribution of slate tools. 



23x1 15y 



22x121y 



19x121y 



Ground slate 
flakes 



18x1 15y 



22x121y 



19x121y 



FK=1 



Bl=1 



Miscellaneous 
tools 



FP=1 



FP=2 
ES=1 



FP=1 



ST=1 



ST=1 
81=1 



18x1 15y 



FP = flake point ES=endscraper ST = schist tablet 
Bl=biface FK= flake knife 



96/ Area 3: distribution of other tool classes. 



23x1 15y 



22x121y 



19x121y 



Blface-thinning 
flakes total (large) 



i(i; 



2(1) 



10(7) 



1(1) 



18x1 15y 



97/ Area 3: distribution of Ramah chert biface-thinning 
flakes. 



95/ Area 3: distribution of ground slate flakes. 

NUKASUSUTOK-5: AREAS 1 AND 3 



155 




O f Z 3 5 



98/ Nukasusutok-5: stemmed bifacial points, a: Area 1 surface: b: Area 2A: c: Area 2C1 . 



CHAPTER 8 



Nukasusuto 
Material Culture 



The preceding chapters outlined the spatial patterning 
at Nukasusutok-5 and made general references to the 
material culture insofar as it was relevant to the spatial 
patterning. The function of this chapter is to present a 
descriptive overview of the assemblages from each 
subarea. Each assemblage is broken down by tradition- 
al implement classes and the formal variation in these 
classes is summarized. A systematic consideration of 
technological organization at the site is presented in 
Chapter 9. 

DEFINITIONS 

For the most part, the categories of lithic implements 
used here follow the system developed by the 
Smithsonian Institution during the 1970s. There are 
deviations, of course, and some categories need more 
precise definition. Consequently, a series of clarifica- 
tions is presented prior to describing the assemblages. 

Bifacial Points and Flake Points 

A bifacial point is retouched over most of its dorsal 
and ventral surfaces; it may be made on a flake or from 
a bifacial preform. A flake point is made on a flake and 
has retouch limited to its margins, either bifacial, uni- 
facial or on alternating edges. 

Bifaces and Biface Preforms 

Biface denotes implements with bifacial retouch, either 
a generic form that does not suggest a particular end 
product or an implement fragment that is not further 

NUKASUSUTOK-5: MATERIAL CULTURE 



identifiable. Biface preform denotes bifacially 
retouched implements that are assumed to represent 
the penultimate reduction stage for a specific imple- 
ment class. 

Endscrapers, Flake Knives and Utilized Flakes 

Endscrapers are small implements, generally trapezoid 
or triangular in form, with clearly defined abrupt angle 
retouch at one end and varying degrees of retouch on 
their lateral edges. Flake knives are flakes with fairly 
distinct, continuous and moderate-to-abrupt retouch 
along a lateral edge; this form might also be termed a 
backed knife or flake. The term does not exclude a 
scraper function. Utilized flakes bear traces of inten- 
tional retouch or use wear that is less distinct, gener- 
ally discontinuous and usually, though not always, 
shallow angled. 

Bipolar Cores 

This term replaces the problematic piece esquillee. 
The latter seems to have been introduced into 
Labrador archaeology by McChee and Tuck (1975); a 
contemporary paper (Fitzhugh 1975:122) refers to 
them as "quartz nuclei or wedges." There has been a 
long debate in the lithic technology literature regard- 
ing bipolar cores and piece esquillee; since these 
implements constitute such a large part of 
Early/Middle Maritime Archaic assemblages the main 
points of the discussion will be summarized here. The 
heart of the debate is whether piece esquillee are 

1 57 




b c 




99/ Nukasusutok-5 bifacial points and bifaces. a: 
stemmed point, Area 2A: b: stemmed point, Area 28; 
c: side-notched biface, Area 2A. d bipoint preform. 
Area 2C2, e bipoint. Area 2A. f biface, Area 2B. 

tools or exhausted bipolar cores. MacDonald's 
(1968:88) discussion of Paleoindian lithics regards 
them as tools for wedging or slotting bone, antler or 
wood. LeBlanc (1992) provides evidence suggesting 
this may be the case in some contexts. But most com- 
mentators have either regarded piece esquillee as 
bipolar cores or have tried to clarify the distinctions 
between the two (e.g., Flenniken 1 981 ; Hayden 1 980; 
Kuijt et al. 1 995; Lothrop and Cramly 1982; Shott 
1989). When cryptocrystalline materials are involved 
the bipolar technique is seen as a method for reduc- 
ing small nodules that cannot be handled by direct 
percussion. In the case of vein quartz, however, the 
non-isotropic structure and resultant blocky fracture 
renders attempts at controlled flaking by direct per- 
cussion difficult. Consequently, the use of vein quartz 
is frequently associated with bipolar reduction tech- 
niques aimed at producing large quantities of deb- 



a ^ c 6 




1 00/ Nul<asusutol<-5: biface fragments and flake points, 
a-f: biface stems, all Area 2 A; g: biface tip, Area I ; h-p: 
flake points, all Area 2A. 

itage (e.g., Callahan 1987; Callahan et al. 1992; 
Flenniken 1981; Knutsson 1998). Some of this deb- 
itage is selected for further bipolar reduction. A vari- 
ety of flakes derived from this process can be used 
expediently for simple processing tasks or specific 
size/shape variants might be selected for hafting, 
along the lines of Flenniken's (1 981 ;60-96) discussion 
of quartz "microliths" hafted in wooden handles and 
used for processing fish. At any stage in the reduction 
process bipolar cores could be recycled for use as 
wedges, scrapers, etc. 

The term bipolar core is used here since most of 
the evidence from Nukasusutok-5 points in the direc- 
tion of such a reduction system for quartz. It should 
be noted, however, that Ramah and Mugford cherts 
sometimes were subjected to bipolar percussion to 
reduce small fragments, although a wedging function 
cannot be disregarded. 



CHAPTER 8 



Block Cores 

The term block core is adapted from Hayden et al. 
(1996) to denote unmodified or partially modified 
pieces of vein quartz. They are grouped into shape cat- 
egories, of which tabular blocks and water-rolled cob- 
bles are the best defined. The distinction between 
quartz core fragments and large flakes is ambiguous; 
a detailed analysis of the quartz reduction system 
would be necessary to provide a more nuanced classi- 
fication. 

Ground Slate Flakes and Ground Slate Tool 
Fragments 

Ground slate flakes are pieces of debitage bearing 
traces of grinding but without identifiable elements of 
tool edges or surfaces. Ground slate tool fragments 
exhibit features more clearly indicative of removal 
from specific tools, such as spalls from slate point lat- 
eral edges or adze bits, or lateral edges of an unclas- 
sifiable tool. 

Slate Plates and Blanks 

Slate plates are the unmodified or slightly retouched 
raw materials used for slate tool production. Slate 
blanks are moderately retouched items that lack suffi- 
cient formal characteristics to be considered preforms 
for specific tools. 

AREA 1 

Bifacial Points 

Five bifacial points were found in Area 1 , of which four 
are from the Smithsonian surface collection. Two spec- 
imens are whole points while three are distal frag- 
ments. Both complete points are fabricated from 
Ramah chert. One is rather long (L=143.1 mm, 
W=38.4, TH=10.8), made on a large flake, with com- 
plete bifacial retouch proximally and distally, but with 
medial retouch limited to the margins on its ventral 
side (Figure 98:a). It has rounded shoulders and a 
slightly contracting stem with a convex base. The sec- 

NUKASUSUTOK-5; MATERIAL CULTURE 



ond example (illustrated in Fitzhugh 1978: Figure 9n) 
is about half the length of the former and also has a 
slightly contracting stem with a convex base, but its 
shoulders are more sharply angled. Of the three distal 
fragments, two are of Ramah chert and one of black 
chert (Figure 100:g); only the latter specimen was 
acquired from the excavation. 

Flake Points 

All four flake points were surface collected and are 
made of Ramah chert. Two proximal fragments have 
slightly tapered stems (one is illustrated in Fitzhugh 
1976: Figure 9s) and both are retouched bifacially 
along their margins. The third specimen is a tip frag- 
ment. A very small flake point can be considered a 
micropoint (illustrated in Fitzhugh 1976: Figure 9q); it 
has a short stem and is retouched on alternate sides 
above its shoulders and unifacially on the stem. 

Bifaces 

Two items are classed as bifaces. One is a medial frag- 
ment of black chert while the other is a bifacially 
worked piece of black slate (Figure 1 02:f); the latter is 
from the excavation. 

Endscrapers 

All three endscrapers were surface collected. One is 
made of gray Mugford chert, the other two of green- 
ish-yellow Mugford chert. In plan they are trapezoid 
and each has a differently shaped working edge: con- 
cave, straight and convex. The working edge of one 
specimen originally may have been oriented diagonal- 
ly. Two specimens exhibit small spurs on one distal 
corner, in both cases formed by a tiny notch placed on 
the lateral margin just below the corner. The straight- 
edged specimen is illustrated by Fitzhugh (1976: 
Figure 9r). 

Flake Knives 

The three examples of flake knives from the surface 
collection are all made from black chert. 

1 59 



Utilized Flakes 

Area 1 has a total of 22 utilized flakes, of which 18 
were surface collected and four excavated. All but one 
are made of Ramah chert; the exception is made of 
black chert. 

Bipolar Cores 

A single quartz bipolar core was found at Area 1 . 
Block Cores 

Three quartz block cores were recovered from the 
excavation. One of these is an unmodified squarish 
block, the second is a split tablet, while the third is a 
split discoid. 

AREA 2A 

Bifacial Points 

A total of 1 3 bifacial points or fragments thereof was 
recovered from Area 2A. Of these, 1 1 are classified as 
stemmed points, of which 10 are made of Ramah 
chert, one of quartz. The single whole example (Figure 
98:b) is made of Ramah chert and is completely bifa- 
cially flaked, with a slightly contracting stem and a 
convex base that bears a remnant striking platform 
(L = 75.6 mm, W =30.5, TH =8.1). An almost identical 
example was found at Area 2C (Figure 98:c). The 
quartz specimen (Figure 99:a) lacks most of its stem 
and exhibits angled rather than indented shoulders, 
one of which is unifacially retouched while the other is 
roughly fractured perpendicularly. The remaining nine 
examples are all proximal stem fragments, perhaps 
discarded during the rehafting process. Four stem 
form variants might be identified: large, tongue- 
shaped with a thinned convex base (one specimen. 
Figure 100:a); small, almost straight-sided with a 
straight or slightly convex thinned base (two speci- 
mens, Figure 1 00:c, d); contracting sides with a convex 
or near-straight base (three specimens, Figure 100:e, 
f): contracting sides with a pointed base bearing a rem- 
nant striking platform (three specimens. Figure 1 00:b). 



Of the remaining two bifacial points, one is a 
nearly complete side-notched biface made of Ramah 
chert (Figure 99:c). It has few retouch flakes and one 
lateral edge is rounded by wear or grinding (L = 54.9 
mm, W =21.9, TH =8.3). The other item is a Ramah 
chert leaf-shaped bipoint (Figure 99:e) with a slightly 
asymmetric form, abrupt retouch limited to its lateral 
margins and numerous step fractures (L = 82.1 mm, 
W =23.0, TH = 9.2). A similar specimen was found in 
Area 2C (Figure 99:d). 

Flake Points 

All of the 1 flake points from Area 2A are made from 
Ramah chert. One is made on a small flake with a 
striking platform as a base and with abrupt lateral 
edge retouch (Figure 100:p), while the other has 
slightly serrated bifacial retouch along its lateral mar- 
gins and a snapped-off base (Figure 100:o). Five of 
the others are complete. Two have symmetrically con- 
tracting stems with a striking platform at the base 
(Figure 100:i, j), while two more have asymmetrical 
stems (Figure 100:h, k). Metrics: xL = 39.8 mm, r = 
29.9-52.2; xW = 22.7 mm, r = 1 6.4-26.1 ; xTH = 3.8, 
r =2.7-4.8. 

One of the three nearly complete specimens has 
a snapped-off stem (Figure 100:m), another lacks a 
stem but has part of a bulb of percussion at its base 
(Figure 100:n), while a third has a base and lateral 
edges constituted by snaps and a retouched tip. A 
proximal fragment has a short asymmetrical stem 
formed by retouch around a basal striking platform 
(Figure 100:1). Marginal retouch patterns vary across 
the specimens; several have alternating retouch, 
some bifacial, others unifacial. Two tiny specimens 
measuring under 20 mm in length can be considered 
micropoints. 

Biface Preforms 

All six of the implements classed as biface preforms 
are made of Ramah chert. One is whole (L = 61 .2 mm, 
W = 42.1 , W = 9.3), another nearly complete and there 



160 



CHAPTER 8 




e f 



1 01 / Nukasusutok-5: bi faces and preforms, a: hi face, Area 
2A; b-d: bifaces, Area 2C; e-f: point preforms, Area 2A. 

are two distal and two proximal fragments. Five of the 
six are of similar form and dimensions (Figure 1 01 :e, 
f; Figure 102:a, d, e), representing bifaces ranging 
from 60-80 mm in length and 25-35 mm in width, with 
convex bases. They tend to be roughly flaked; one 
exhibits numerous step fractures and another is only 
retouched on the margins of its ventral surface. One is 
thermally altered (Figure 102:e). All appear to be pro- 
jectile point preforms. The remaining specimen is an 
oval flake with retouch mostly limited to its margins; a 
proto-stem is formed by slight notching on alternate 
sides (Figure 1 02:g). 

Bifaces 

Of the 1 6 bifaces, one is made of quartz while the rest 
are made of Ramah chert. The quartz implement has a 
"hand-axe"-like form (Figure 1 10:a) with alternate edge 
flaking (L = 120.9 mm, W = 66.8, TH = 21.6). Eight of 




1 02/ Nukasusutok-5: bifaces and preforms, a: biface. 
Area 2A: b-c: preforms. Area 2C; d-e: preforms. Area 2A: 
f: biface fragment, Area 1 , g: preform. Area 2A, h; biface. 
Area 3; i: biface, Area 2C. 

the Ramah chert specimens are distal portions of pro- 
jectile points, two of which exhibit impact fractures. Six 
items are lateral or proximal edge fragments. The last 
example is the base of a large asymmetric biface of 
Ramah chert (Figure 1 01 :a). Made on a large flake, the 
dorsal surface has large, broad flake scars removed 
over its entire surface while the ventral retouch is limit- 
ed to the margins (W = 51 .9 mm, TH = 10.0). 

Endscrapers 

The Area 2A collection includes 16 endscrapers or 
fragments thereof, of which 1 1 are made of black 
chert, four of gray Mugford chert and one of patinat- 
ed Mugford chert. Of the nine reasonably complete 
specimens (Figure 103:a-d, f, g, j), seven are trape- 
zoid in form, two triangular. There was a consistent 
selection of flakes in the 5-7 mm thickness range. 
Summary statistics are as follows: 




NUKASUSUTOK-5 MATERIAL CULTURE 



161 




1 03/ Nukasusutok-5: endscrapers, flake knives, gravers 
and linear flakes, a-d, f-g, i-l, n: endscrapers, Area 2A, 
e, m: endscrapers Area 2C, h: endscraper, Area 2B, 
o flake knife/scraper, Area 2A; p: graver (?), Area 2A; 
q-s linear flakes, Area 2 A. 




1 04/ Nukasusutok-5: stemmed flakes and flake knives, 
a-c stemmed flakes. Area 2A: d: stemmed flake/flake 
knife. Area 2C, e-i flake knives. Area 2A. 



Length: r = 1 7.9-31 .4 mm, 
Width: r= 16.7-31.8 mm, 

Thickness: r = 3.2-7.0 mm. 



x = 22.8, sd = 4.3 
x = 22.2, sd = 4.3 
x=5.5, sd=1.4 



Working edge shape is relatively straight in five 
cases, convex in one, concave in one and concavo-con- 
vex in two. Edge angles range between 40-65 . The 
amount of retouch on the lateral margins varies con- 
siderably. One example exhibits slight spurring on 
both its distal corners due to lateral edge notching just 
below the corners (Figure 103:d) while a second has 
spurring on one distal corner as a result of similar lat- 
eral edge notching (Figure 103:f). The two triangular 
forms (Figure 103:a, i) are very close in size and both 
have concavo-convex working edges. One specimen 
has a slight spur on its right distal corner (Figure 
103:i), while the other has a short, straight, retouched 



edge with considerable use damage on its right distal 
corner (Figure 103:a). Two specimens exhibit other 
forms. One is made on a thin flake and has a relative- 
ly long convex working edge terminated by a small 
notch at one end (Figure 103:1) while the other is a 
more irregular fragment with a fairly straight working 
edge (Figure 103.n). The remaining items are lateral 
and distal edge fragments. 

Flake Knives 

Of the seven flake knives, four are made of Ramah 
chert, two of quartz and one of black chert. Three of 
the Ramah chert specimens are whole or near com- 
plete (Figure 104:f-h). They are made on flakes with 
lengths in the 42-51 mm range and all have convex 
edges with edge angles ranging from 50-70'. One 
Ramah chert specimen and the black chert example 



162 



CHAPTER 8 




105/ Nukasusutok-5: bipolar cores arid disc core, a-d, f-h: 
bipolar cores, Area 2A; e: bipolar core, Area 2C, I: block 
core with bipolar percussion. Area 2A: J: disc core. Area 2C. 



(Figure 104:i) are fragments. Of the two quartz imple- 
ments, one has fine retouch along a straight edge and 
ventral step fractures on one corner (Figure 103:o), 
such that it is unclear whether it should be classed as 
a flake knife or a scraper. The other quartz specimen 
is uncertain. An eighth flake knife of Ramah chert is 
illustrated in Figure 104:e. It is from the northern end 
of Area 2A, but was eliminated from the analysis 
because of uncertain provenience. 

Utilized Flakes 

Of the 97 utilized flakes, 88 (90.7 %) are made of 
Ramah chert, five (5.2 %) of quartz, three (3.1 %) of 
black chert and one (1 .0 %) of gray Mugford chert. 

Bipolar Cores 

Area 2A has a total of 57 bipolar cores. Some examples 
are illustrated in Figure 105:a-c, f-h. Given this relative- 



ly large sample size, a detailed attribute analysis was 
conducted on 56 specimens (one was missing at the 
time of analysis) to determine if the material could 
reveal underlying patterning. The approach was mod- 
eled after Lothrop and Cramly (1982). Somewhat sim- 
plified, the main variables considered were: 

1 ) raw material 

2) number of axes of percussion (one, two, 
indeterminate) 

3) length of each axis of percussion 

4) thickness 

5) edge surfaces (as seen laterally): straight, 
convex, concave, irregular, flat platform, 
indeterminate 

6) edge shape (as seen vertically, i.e., from 
above the platform): straight, bowed, 
wavy, irregular, indeterminate 

7) edge damage (combinations thereof): 
crushing, sharp, faceted, step fractured 

Figure 106 provides a graphic depiction of the 
variables. A major problem in recording and evaluating 
the results is the absence of any positional criterion 
(such as proximal/distal) to distinguish consistently 
between the first and second axes of percussion. 
Another difficulty is the fragmentary state of many 
specimens, which prevents complete measurements or 
hinders the comparison of edge characteristics on 
opposite sides of an implement. The following summa- 
ry of the results is based on data derived from an arbi- 
trarily defined first axis and from specimens for which 
metric variables could be considered as complete 
measurements. Edge A is the first edge of the axis. 
Edge B is the opposite edge. 

Raw Materials: quartz = 34 (60.7%), Ramah chert = 18 
(32.1%), gray Mugford chert = 2 (3.6%), black chert = 2 (3.6%). 

Number of Axes of Percussion: 1 = 28 (50.0%), 2 = 18 
(32.1%), indeterminate =10(1 7.9). 



NUKASUSUTOK-5: MATERIAL CULTURE 



163 



Axis 1 



Thickness 



A2- 



Core Orientation 




Axis 2 



straight Convex 

Edge Surface 



Concave 



Irregular 



Flat Platform 



Straight 
Edge Shape 



Bowed 



Wavy 



Irregular 




{T\ (T\ ff^ 

Step Fractured 



Crushing 

Edge Damage 



Sharp 



Facetted 



/06/ Bipolar core analysis variables and attributes. 



Axis 1 Length :n = 32, r= 15.7-38.6 mm, x= 27.21 , sd = 5.82 



flat platform = 2 (3.6%), indeter- 
minate = 2 (3.6%) 

Axis /, Edge A Shape: straight= 
8 (14.3%), bowed = 18 (32.1%), 
wavy = 23 (41 .1%), irregular = 1 
(1.8%), indeterminate= 6 
(10.7%) 

Axis 1, Edge A Damage: 
(instances of each type in sam- 
ple; specimens can have combi- 
nations of damage types); 
crushing = 41 (73.2%), sharp = 

6 (10.7%), faceted= 27 (48.2%), 
step fractured = 20 (35.7%) 

Axis I, Edge B (opposite) 
Surface: straight = 7 (12.5 %), 
convex = 7 (12.5 %), concave = 
3 (5.4%), irregular= 4 (7.1%), flat 
platform= 1 (1 .8%) 

Axis 1 , Edge B Shape: straight = 

7 (1 2.5 %), bowed = 4 (7.1%), 
wavy= (9 (16.1%), irregular = 
1 (1.8%) 

Axis I, Edge B Damage: 
(instances of each type in sam- 
ple; specimens can have combi- 
nations of damage types); 
crushing = 23 (41.1%), sharp = 6 
(18.8%), faceted = 12 (37.5%), step fractured = 9 (28.1%) 



Axis 2 Length: n = 27, r = 9.4-47.2 mm, x = 23.97, sd = 9.08 

Thickness: n=47, r = 3.9-23.4 mm, x = 1 0.93, sd= 4.60 

Axis I , Edge A Surface: straight = 1 6 (28.6%), convex = 
25 (44.6%), concave = 8 (14.3%), irregular = 3 (5.4%), 



Cross-tabulations were run between the nominal 
variables surface, shape and damage for Axis 1 , Edge A 
(the best sample size) to investigate attribute combina- 
tions. Only the combination of edge surface and edge 
shape exhibited interesting patterning, with a slight ten- 
dency (when expected values were calculated) for con- 



164 



CHAPTER 8 



vex edge surfaces to be associat- 
ed with wavy edge shapes. 



Area 2A Bipolar Core Sizes 



20 



16 



E 

in 
in 
a> 
c 

u 



8 - 







10 



15 



Bivariate metric analysis 
provides more interesting 
results. Figure 107 is a scatter 
diagram of Axis 1 length 
against thickness, coded for dif- 
ferent raw material types. There 
is a slight tendency for three 
groups in the plot: (1) speci- 
mens <20 mm long and <8 mm 
thick, (2) those from 21-34 mm 
in length and between 6-14 mm 
thick, and (3) those >30 mm 
long and >12 mm thick. Ramah 
chert specimens cluster in the 
shorter/thinner area of the plot 

while quartz is spread out more broadly, although with 
a clear break between "medium" and "large" groups. 
The Mugford and black chert specimens lie in the mid- 
dle. The contrasts between quartz and Ramah chert 
likely indicate differences in the sizes of the raw mate- 
rials when bipolar reduction commenced: quartz 
reduction began with block cores and large flakes 
while Ramah chert bipolar cores are probably the 
result of recycling broken tool fragments. 

By way of comparison, Flenniken (1981:48) 
divides his Northwest Coast quartz bipolar cores into 
three size categories, although he provides no his- 
togram or scatter plot data on the shape of the distri- 
butions. Lothrop and Cramly's (1982:16) mostly chert 
pieces esquillees exhibit a unimodal size distribution 
suggestive of a continuous reduction process. 
Although the non-unimodal size distribution at Area 
2A may simply be an artifact of sample size or reflect 
stages of core exhaustion (MacDonald 1968:86), it 
could also be related to purposeful selection of core 
sizes for the production of different types of flakes. 
For example, Flenniken (1981:43-46) identifies what 
he terms "microliths" as deliberate products of the 
bipolar reduction of quartz. This category may be 



A Ramah 
■ Quartz 
• Chert 



20 25 30 
Length (mm) 



35 



40 



45 



107/ Area 2A bipolar core size distriiyution. 



more a reflection of the investigator's expectations 
and sorting procedures than of prehistoric intentional- 
ity, but it is clear that careful bipolar reduction can 
produce at least some fairly regular columnar or linear 
flakes, although they will likely constitute a small pro- 
portion of the total debitage. The quartz debitage from 
Area 2A (and the other subareas) contains little that 
resembles deliberately produced linear or columnar 
flakes. Consequently, it is more likely that discontinu- 
ities in the bipolar core size distribution are the result 
of selectivity in the size of shatter chosen for further 
bipolar reduction. 

It is difficult, however, to see the smallest bipolar 
core size group as the result of reduction aimed at pro- 
ducing flakes since flakes produced from these cores 
would be extremely small and cores under 20-25 mm 
are difficult to hold between the fingers without risk- 
ing injury during bipolar percussion. If any of the bipo- 
lar cores were used for splitting/wedging functions it 
was perhaps these. 

Block Cores 

Area 2A produced a total of 37 quartz block cores, 
which can be divided into five sub-groups. The first 



NUKASUSUTOK-5; MATERIAL CULTURE 



165 



f 




108/ Nukasusutok-5 slate and schist tools, a: ground slate 
point, Area 2A. b flake adze. Area 2 A, c: reworked flake 
adze. Area 2A, d slate blank. Area 2A. e celt/adze blank. 
Area 2A, f: schist whetstone, Area 2A. 



group consists of 1 1 tabular or sub-tabular cores, 
unmodified except for one or two flakes removed (e.g., 
Figure 1 10:b). Summary statistics are as follows: 

Length: r = 58.3-1 2 1 .4 mm, x=82.1, sd = 20.1 
Width: r = 41 .4-70.3 mm, x = 56.6, sd = 1 1 .6 

Thickness: r = 1 5.7-46.7mm, x=31.7, sd = 9.06 

The second group consists of five quartz beach 
cobbles marked by various degrees of water-rolling. 
Four are battered and two of these were split in half. 
The remaining specimen has only a single flake 
removed. Their size range is slightly smaller than for 
tabular cores. Summary statistics are as follows; 

Length: r = 29.8-63.5 mm, x=52.2, sd = 1 3.4 
Width: r = 25.1-52.6 mm, x=43.1, sd = 12.1 




109/ Nukasusutok-5: ground slate tools, a: adze, Area 2A; 
b-c: celts, Area 2C. 



Thickness: r = 22.7-35.2 mm, x=30.3, sd= 5.8 

The third group consists of 1 3 cores with traces of 
bipolar percussion. Some of these could be called 
bipolar cores, but they are distinguished from the lat- 
ter because of their size and their place at the initial 
phase of the reduction process. Figure 110:d illus- 
trates an example with crushing on its long sides and 
on a flat platform at one end; the opposite end has 
large step fractures. The core is broken across its 
width, but there was clearly an attempt to split it 
lengthwise using bipolar percussion. Summary statis- 
tics are as follows: 

Length: r= 53. 1 -1 22.8 mm, x= 72.4, sd=18.9 
Width: r= 35.2-70.9 mm, x=51.5, sd=10.2 
Thickness: r= 25.5-43.7 mm, x= 33.0, sd= 6.1 



166 



CHAPTER 8 



/ 1 0/ Nukasusutok-5: quartz biface and cores, a: biface, 
Area 2A: b: tabular block core, Area 2A: c: core/hammer- 
stone, Area 3; d: block core with bipolar percussion, 
Area 2A. 



1 1 1 / Nukasusutok-5: slate and schist implements, a-c: 
ground slate point tips. Area 2A, d: ground slate tool frag- 
ment (point stem''). Area 2A; e schist tablet. Area 3: f: 
ground slate tool fragment. Area 2A: g schist tablet. 
Area 3. 



The fourth group consists of two specimens, one 
discoid the other lenticular in form. The former has 
three or four flakes removed while it is uncertain 
whether the latter has been culturally modified. Finally, 
the fifth group consists of 5 cores with irregular 
shapes and the following summary statistics: 

Length: r = 50.2-82.2 mm, x = 66.2, sd = 13.2 
Width: r = 40.2-65.9 mm, x=52.1, sd = ll.l 
Thickness: r = 30.4-48.6 mm, x=36.6, sd = 6.9 

Ground Slate Points 

Portions of four ground slate points were found at Area 
2A. Three of the four are distal fragments while one is 
most of a medial portion. Two of the distal fragments 
have broad flat blades (Figure 1 1 1 :a-b); one is made of 
green slate the other of beige slate. The third distal 



fragment is narrower with a lenticular cross-section 
(Figure 1 1 1 :c) and made of gray slate. The medial 
specimen is made of green slate and consists of the 
lower portion of the point's blade and the upper part 
of its stem (Figure 1 08:a). Its blade element is very thin 
and flat (W= 22.6 mm, TH= 3.5); the stem is formed by 
a slightly rounded constriction. 

Ground Slate Adzes 

Three examples, all made of green slate, suggest two 
types of slate adzes. The first (Figure 109;a) is a large 
triangular form with bifacially retouched margins and 
a plano-convex cross-section (L= 105.6 mm, W= 53.0, 
TH= 1 3.3). Very fine polishing at the bit end extends 
40-70 mm back from the working edge. The bit has an 
edge angle of 60 and exhibits very little evidence of 
wear. The poll end of the tool has a small surface 



NUKASUSUTOK-5. MATERIAL CULTURE 



167 



ground to an angle of 60°; this may be a trace of a sec- 
ond reworked bit or a hafting modification. The second 
example (Figure 1 08:b) is a small trapezoid adze made 
on a flake with a remnant striking platform at its poll 
end (L = 64.5 mm, W = 33.9, TH = 6.5). The implement 
has light dorsal retouch on its lateral margins, a bit 
angle of 35 and polishing limited to within 1 2-1 8 mm 
of the working edge. The third specimen (Figure 1 08:c) 
is probably a reworked flake adze similar to the latter 
type. It consists of a triangular flake with fine abrupt 
retouch on the distal end, slight retouch on its lateral 
edges and polishing remnants on one distal corner and 
one lateral edge. Its maximum width (33 mm) is very 
similar to that of the previously described flake adze. 

Slate Blanks 

Three items are classified as slate blanks. One is a tri- 
angular celt or adze preform of green slate (Figure 
108:e), bifacially flaked over its entire surface, with 
preliminary grinding of a few facets near the bit end 
(L = 62.9 mm, W = 42.7, TH = 1 7.0). The second is a 
celt or adze preform of gray slate made on a thin 
slate plate (Figure 1 12:b). The implement is unifacial- 
ly retouched on its lateral margins and widest end; 
two step fractures at the wide end are ground slight- 
ly (L = 82.4 mm, W = 49.0, TH = 1 0.7). The third item 
is a bifacially flaked fragment of green slate (Figure 
1 12:d). 

Slate Plates 

Of the nine slate plates or fragments thereof, six are 
made of green slate, two of red-brown slate and one of 
beige slate. All but one are thin plates of slate with 
varying amounts of edge retouch (e.g., Figure 1 1 2;a, e, 
f). The remaining example is a thicker ovoid piece with 
bifacial retouch on one edge and extensive step frac- 
turing on the opposite edge (Figure 1 12:c). 

Ground Slate Flakes and Tool Fragments 

Of the 49 items categorized as ground slate flakes, 24 
(49.0 %) are made of gray slate, 1 6 (32.7 96) of green 



slate, four (8.2 %) of gray-banded slate, two (4.1 %) of 
red-brown slate, two (4.1 %) of indeterminate color 
slate and one (2.0 %) of greenstone. Seven of these 
specimens are edge-struck flakes from tools; four have 
medial ridges while three have convex surfaces. Two 
items are classed as ground slate tool fragments. One 
is a piece of gray slate with one edge ground perpen- 
dicularly and two other edges bifacially flaked (Figure 
1 1 1 :f), apparently a reworked implement fragment. 
The other is a piece of green slate with rounded later- 
al edges suggestive of a ground slate point stem 
(Figure 1 1 1 :d), 

Hammerstones 

A single hammerstone was recovered, consisting of a 
small water-rolled cobble with battering concentrated 
at one point. 

Whetstones 

The single whetstone (Figure 108:f) is a thin bar of 
dense gray schist (L = 87.2 mm, W = 30.7, TH = 5.2). 
The working edge runs the length of one side of the 
tool, with wear on both faces but mostly on one. The 
opposite lateral edge is ground perpendicularly. 
Several linear incisions made by a pointed tool are vis- 
ible on one face of the implement as well as on the 
perpendicular non-working edge. These do not seem 
to constitute decoration. 

Schist Tablets and Ground Schist Fragments 

Three schist tablets and two fragments of ground 
schist were recovered. The three tablets are all made 
of chlorite schist. Two (Figure 1 1 3:a, b) are rectangu- 
lar with somewhat battered lateral edges suggestive 
of deliberate shaping (L = 117.4 mm, 100.1 mm; 
W = 67.1, 56.4; TH = 31.8, 21.2). Both have one 
smoothed surface, possibly from grinding. The third 
tablet (Figure 113:d) is a knife-shaped bar with no 
obvious modification (L = 165.0 mm, W = 44.6, 
TH = 1 7.2), so it is uncertain whether the implement 
is a cultural affordance. 



168 



CHAPTER 8 



Graver (?) 

An unusual tool made of black chert may be a graver 
(Figure 103:p). It resembles an endscraper with over- 
size spurs extending from each distal corner (L= 37.4 
mm, W= 18.4, TH= 4.9). The left distal spur is shaped 
like a screwdriver tip while the right spur tapers to a 
perforator-like point. The concave distal edge exhibits 
scraper-like wear traces and parts of both spurs also 
exhibit use-wear. Another possibility is that the speci- 
men is an effigy. 

Stemmed Flakes 

Three Ramah chert implements are classified as 
stemmed flakes because they exhibit more systematic 
retouch than utilized flakes and a tendency towards 
stem definition, but they do not resemble flake points. 
One is a roughly triangular flake (L= 55.7 mm, W= 
39.2, TH= 4.3) with a short stem formed by alternating 
unifacial retouch on a slightly indented left shoulder 
and more sharply defined right shoulder (Figure 
104:a). The lateral margins of the "blade" have fine 
bifacial retouch limited to the margins. The second 
(Figure 104:b) is a proximal fragment with a stem 
formed by a single dorsal flake removal on each side; 
the lateral edge margins above the stem have fine bifa- 
cial retouch. The third specimen (Figure 104:c) is a tri- 
angular flake with dorsal retouch distally and on one 
lateral edge (L= 36.0 mm, W= 41 .2, TH= 3.5). 

Linear Flakes 

Two items are classified as linear flakes. One is made 
of Ramah chert (Figure 103:r) and has a short blade- 
like form with two medial "arrises," dorsal polishing on 
its distal end and dorsal utilization wear on its lateral 
margin (L= 38.7 mm, W= 14.0, TH= 3.4). This speci- 
men may be a product of columnar fracturing during 
bipolar reduction. The other example is a medial frag- 
ment of gray Mugford chert (Figure 1 03:q); one lateral 
edge is retouched ventrally along its entire length, the 
other is retouched dorsally along half its length (L= 
28.4 mm, W= 14.6, TH= 2.3). A third linear flake frag- 



ment of Ramah chert is illustrated (Figure 103:s), but 
it was dropped from the analysis because of uncertain 
provenience. 

AREA 2B 

Bifacial Points 

The single bifacial point from Area 2B is a proximal 
fragment made of quartz (Figure 99:b). The specimen 
is crudely flaked bifacially and has a contracting stem. 
One lateral edge has an angled rather than indented 
shoulder while the other bears only a slight indenta- 
tion indicative of a tentative shoulder (W= 26.4 mm, 
TH= 1 3.5). 

Flake Points 

The single Ramah chert flake point is an uncertain 
specimen bearing limited unifacial retouch, some of 
which seems designed to taper the flake near its tip 
and even out one lateral margin. 

Bifaces 

The only biface (Figure 99:f) is the distal or proximal 
fragment of a thin, very finely flaked, asymmetric 
biface of Ramah chert (W = 45.3 mm, TH = 7.6). The 
quality of flaking suggests the implement is a finished 
product ("bifacial knife"), but it might be a preform for 
a lanceolate bipoint such as those illustrated in Figure 
99:d, e. Comparison of the biface with the latter two 
points suggests a reduction process in which the sym- 
metric lateral edge was "keeled" against the hand while 
the asymmetric edge was reduced towards the bipoint 
form. This technique might have minimized the risk of 
breakage when producing the narrow lanceolate 
forms. 

Endscrapers 

The single endscraper (Figure 103:h), made of gray 
Mugford chert, is trapezoid with a slightly concave dis- 
tal edge and a unifacially retouched lateral edge (L= 
15.1 mm, W= 21.1, TH=9.9, edge angle= 60 ). 



NUKASUSUTOK-5: MATERIAL CULTURE 



169 



/ 1 2/ Nukasusutok-5 slate plates and blanks, a, c, e-f: 
plates, Area 2A: b, d: blanks, Area 2A. 

Flake Knives 

Both examples are fragmentary and made of Ramah 
chert. 

Utilized Flakes 

Of the 21 utilized flakes, 17 (71.4 %) are made of 
Ramah chert, four (1 9.0 %) of black chert, one (4.8 %) 
of slate and one (4.8 %) of quartz. 

Bipolar Cores 

Of the six bipolar cores, five are made of quartz, one 
of Ramah chert. Most of these are fragmentary, so no 
summary metrics can be presented. 

Block Cores 

Two quartz block cores were recovered. One is a sub- 
tabular specimen, unused except for the possible 
removal of two flakes, the other is unused and prism- 



/ / 3/ Nukasusutok-5: schist tablets, a-b, d: Area 2A; 
c: Area 2C. 



shaped (L= 78.2, 1 1 5.8 mm, W= 56.0, 90.6, TH= 39.0, 
70.3). 

Ground Slate Flakes and Tool Fragments 

Of the five ground slate flakes, four are made of green 
slate and one of gray slate. A sixth flake, made of 
green slate, is an edge fragment from a celt or adze. 

Grindstones (?) 

Two conjoining fragments of a sandstone plate were 
found at Area 2B. It is uncertain whether this was a cul- 
tural affordance, but it could have served as a grind- 
stone for slate tools. 

Bone Pendants 

A small fragment of a bone pendant was recovered 
from the fine-sieved charcoal sample taken at hearth 
1 1 , dated 6040±90 B.P.. Ca. 9 mm in length and 2.4 



170 



CHAPTER 8 



/ 1 4/ Nukasusutok-5: fragment of bone pendant, Area 2B. 
(Length 9 mm). 

mm in thickness, the artifact has a gouged hole, flat- 
tened and rounded edges, one incised line and two 
small notches on one face, and a single incised line on 
the other face (Figure 1 1 4). 

AREA 2C 

Bifacial Points 

The single bifacial point is from Area 2C1 (Figure 98:c). 
Made from Ramah chert, it is nearly complete, finely 
flaked, exhibits a contracting stem, rounded shoulders 
and has a biconvex cross-section (W= 28.2 mm, TH= 
8.5). It is virtually identical to a specimen from Area 2A 
(Figure 98:b). 

Biface Preforms 

The two biface preforms are made of Ramah chert and 
are complete. One could perhaps be classed as an 



/ / 5/ Nukasusutok-5: Area 3 flaked implements, a-c: flake 
points: d: endscraper: e: biface preform; f: disc core; g: 
biface fragment; h: flake knife. 

unfinished lanceolate bipoint (Figure 99:d), but here it 
is treated as a preform since its asymmetric shape 
results from retention of a small portion of unfinished 
edge (L= 91 .1 mm, W= 28.6, TH= 1 1 .8; biconvex cross- 
section). As noted above, it is possible that Figure 99:f- 
d-e illustrates a reduction sequence. The other exam- 
ple is made of thermally altered Ramah chert and 
exhibits a lanceolate form with a striking platform at 
its base (Figure 102:c); it was broken about one third 
of the way down from its distal end (L= 48.2 mm, W= 
19.1, TH= 7.0; biconvex cross-section). The break 
occurred during the final tip-to-base retouch sequence 
since the tip is well retouched but the medial and prox- 
imal portions are still roughly flaked. 

Bifaces 

All five biface fragments are made of Ramah chert. 
Two large fragments (Figure 101:c, d) are similar in 



NUKASUSUTOK-5: MATERIAL CULTURE 



171 



form: asymmetric with slight stemming or notching 
and plano-convex cross-sections resulting from exten- 
sive retouch on their dorsal surfaces but only margin- 
al retouch on their ventral sides (W = 41.1, 45.5 mm, 
TH = 10.7, 13.3). Figure 101;d might be a stemmed 
point preform, but both could conceivably be early 
stages in the production of bipoints using the asym- 
metric reduction technique described previously. A 
third specimen is the proximal fragment of a large 
biface made on a flake (Figure 1 01 :b), with a remnant 
striking platform on its proximal end and retouch 
limited mostly to its lateral edges (W = > 60 mm, 
TH =10.3). Another implement is the distal end of a 
large thick biface, possibly a quarry blank (Figure 
102:i). The last example is a lateral edge fragment of 
thermally altered Ramah chert. 

Endscrapers 

One of the two specimens is made of black chert, the 
other of Ramah chert. The black chert implement 
(Figure 103:e) is trapezoid in form, has double concav- 
ities on its working edge and abrupt dorsal retouch on 
its lateral margins (L = 22.4 mm, W = 23.8, TH = 9,0). 
The Ramah chert specimen (Figure 103:m) is problem- 
atic since Maritime Archaic endscrapers are almost 
never made from this material. The implement has a 
stem created by unifacial retouch along its lateral mar- 
gins (dorsally on one edge, ventrally on the other). The 
distal "ears" produced by the stemming have dorsal 
retouch and the distal edge itself is broken, with two 
notch-like flakes removed and the subsequent imposi- 
tion of slight edge retouch (L = 36.7 mm, W = 31.5, 
TH = 7.7). Polishing is present on the distal corners. 

Utilized Flakes 

Of the 31 utilized flakes, 26 (83.9%) are made of Ramah 
chert, four (1 2.9%) of quartz and one (3.2%) of black chert. 

Bipolar Cores 

Only two bipolar cores were found at Area 2C; one is 
made of quartz, the other of Ramah chert. 



Block Cores 

Of the 1 9 block cores, 1 8 are made of quartz, one of 
gray quartzite. Of the quartz cores, 1 1 were tabular in 
shape. Of these, eight were unused except for minor 
flaking, four may have been fractured off larger blocks 
and two have traces of bipolar percussion on their long 
ends. Four have slightly rounded cortex suggestive of 
water-rolling. Five cores were prism shaped. Three of 
the latter are virtually unused while 2 exhibit traces of 
bipolar percussion. Two cores are simply fragments of 
blocks. The gray quartzite core is a fragment of a 
water-rolled cobble split by bipolar percussion. A few 
flakes removed on one edge might indicate use as an 
expedient scraper. Summary statistics are as follows: 

Length: r = 48.7-97.7 mm, x = 74.9, sd = 15.8 
Width: r = 31.9-88.9 mm, x = 56.5, sd = 15.5 
Thickness: r = 19.1-70.4 mm, x = 33.5, sd = 12.5 

Disc Cores 

The single example of a disc core is made of Ramah 
chert (Figure 1 05:j). It is a small bifacial disc with sharp 
edges and no evidence for crushing that might indicate 
bipolar reduction (L = 40.0 mm, W = 39.6, TH = 27.5). 

Ground Slate Celts 

Two celts were found at Area 2C, one complete and the 
other near-complete; both are made of green slate. 
One is a large sub-triangular specimen (Figure 109:b) 
with bifacial flaking along its lateral edges and on 
its poll end (L = 148.3 mm, W = 60.2, TH = 19.7). 
Polishing is limited to an area 38-48 mm back from the 
bit edge. The bit has little damage besides some 
crushing and small flakes removed from near the mid- 
dle of the working edge. Near the poll end some of the 
flake facets are polished, presumably hafting-related. 
Red ocher stains are visible on the celt surface. The 
second example (Figure 109:c) is a small, presumably 
sub-triangular, celt with bifacial retouch on both later- 
al edges, one of which has a thin perpendicularly 
ground facet (L = >82.0 mm, W = 39.2, TH = 1 2.4). One 



CHAPTER 8 



face of the tool is mostly polished and flat; the other 
face is completely polished, but the edge portion has 
canted grinding that produces a ridge running parallel 
to the lateral edge. 

Ground Slate Celt/Adze 

One artifact of greenstone is the proximal (poll) frag- 
ment of a celt or adze (Figure 108:d). It is bifacially 
flaked and the lateral edges have slight perpendicular 
grinding. The poll edge is slightly ground on one side 
and one medial flake facet is slightly ground. 

Slate Plates 

The lone slate plate, of indeterminate slate color (due 
to weathering), has fine flaking along one edge and an 
area of possible edge grinding. 

Ground Slate Flakes and Tool Fragments 

There are 22 ground slate flakes, of which eight 
(36.4%) are made of green slate, six (27.3%) of beige 
slate, three (1 3.6%) of gray slate, three (1 3.6%) of red- 
brown slate and two (9.1%) of gray-banded slate. One 
flake is an edge-struck fragment from a tool. 

Hammerstones 

The single hammerstone is a small egg-shaped cobble 
with slight crushing at one end. 

Schist Tablets 

Two schist tablets were found. One is a large rectan- 
gular tablet of chlorite schist (Figure 113:c) with 
battered edges and one smoothed surface sugges- 
tive of use in grinding (L = 171.0 mm, W = 67.7, 
TH = 27.1). The other is a thin triangular tablet of 
phyllite schist; it is uncertain whether this was a 
cultural affordance. 

Schist Fragments 

Six fragments of schist were collected, of which two 
display grinding indicative of cultural modification. 



Stemmed Flakes 

One Ramah chert implement is classified as a stemmed 
flake (Figure 104:d). Made on a long flake, it has light 
dorsal retouch on one lateral edge while a slight stem 
shoulder is formed by ventral retouch (L = 82.9 mm, W 
= 36.8, TH = 5.3). Perhaps it could also be classified 
as a flake knife. 

Red Ocher Nodules 

The vicinity of hearths 1 4 and 1 5 produced eight small 
red ocher nodules, weighing a total of 52 g. Three tiny 
nodules near hearth 12 weighed 0.4 g. 

AREA 3 

Flake Points 

All three flakes points are made of Ramah chert. One 
is almost complete with a contracting stem (Figure 
115:a); the margins of its lateral edges and stem are 
retouched unifacially on alternate sides and the blade 
element is slightly serrated (L = 43.1 mm, W = 22.0, 
TH = 2.2). Another specimen is a proximal fragment 
with a stem element formed by a retouched shoulder 
on one lateral edge and a shallow notch on the oppo- 
site edge (Figure 1 1 5:b). A striking platform is retained 
at the base of the stem and the blade margins are 
retouched on alternate sides (W= 21.4 mm, TH= 2.9). 
The third example (Figure 1 1 5:c) is missing part of its 
base and has slightly serrated bifacial retouch limited 
to its margins (L= 28.4 mm, W= 18.7, TH= 3.1). 

Biface Preforms 

The single example is made of Ramah chert and is a 
proximal fragment with a convex base (Figure 1 1 5:e). 

Bifaces 

All three biface fragments are made of Ramah chert. 
Two are edge fragments with deep flake scars, reminis- 
cent of quarry blanks (Figure 1 02:h, 1 1 5:g), while the 
third is the lateral edge of a smaller biface. 



NUKASUSUTOK-5: MATERIAL CULTURE 



173 



Endscrapers 

The single endscraper from Area 3 (Figure 115:d) is 
made of an unusual extremely fine-grained beige 
chert, presumably from Cape Mugford. It has a straight 
distal edge (50' angle) and distinct polishing on its lat- 
eral edges (L = 19.0 mm, W = 19.1, TH = 2.8). 

Flake Knives 

The single flake knife (Figure 1 1 5:h) is made of Ramah 
chert and has two distinct retouch areas, both dorsal; 
the lateral edge angle is 60 while the proximal edge is 
20* (L = 54.8 mm, W = 35.1 , TH = 9.2). 

Bipolar Cores 

A total of five bipolar cores was found at Area 3; two 
are made of quartz, three of Ramah chert. 

Block Cores 

Of the 20 quartz cores, seven are tabular in form, six 
are made from rounded water-rolled cobbles, three are 
squarish or prism-shaped, two conical, two semi-dis- 
coidal and one irregular. Three tabular specimens are 
unused or exhibit minimal modification; two were 
probably split with bipolar percussion and two others 
were fractured. Two of the tabular cores are slightly 
water-rolled. Of the rounded cobbles, three bear traces 
of bipolar percussion while a fourth is heavily battered, 
suggesting use as a hammerstone or resistance to 
repeated efforts at bipolar reduction (Figure 110:c). 
One squarish and one conical core show traces of bipo- 
lar percussion. Summary statistics are as follows: 

Length: r = 38.2-93.9 mm, = 70.8, sd = 12.4 
Width: r = 36.9-86.1 mm, = 56.5, sd = 12.2 
Thickness: r = 24.0-72.2 mm, = 40.9, sd = 11.2 

Disc Cores 

The single disc core (Figure 115:f) is a small Ramah 
chert specimen with bifacial flaking and severe step 
fractures on both faces (L = 44.7 mm, W = 39.3, 
TH = 18.8). 




/ 16/ Nul<asusutol<-5: Area 3 slate Implements, a: ground 
slate hexagonal shaft; b: celt, c: ground tool fragment; d: 
blank. 



Ground Slate Celts 

The single example is a red-brown slate specimen that 
was probably sub-triangular in form prior to being bro- 
ken longitudinally (Figure 1 16:b). The remaining later- 
al edge is bifacially flaked. Polishing is concentrated 
near the bit but also occurs elsewhere on the tool. The 
poll end has a bevelled ground surface, either a 
remnant bit or hafting modification (L = 86.2 mm, 
W = 32.0, TH = 1 5.7). 

Hexagonal Ground Slate Tool Fragment 

Figure 116:a illustrates a hexagonal shaft of polished 
green slate that tapers longitudinally. The tool was 
broken into several pieces that were spread between 
Features 1 and 2. Retouch on the ventral surfaces of 
some fragments indicate the implement was flaked 
after it was broken. The shape and thickness of the 
object (W = >26.2 mm, TH = >1 2.0) suggest it is not a 



174 



CHAPTER 8 



projectile point but possibly the shaft of a more robust 
tool such as a small gouge. ^ 

Slate Blanks 

The single slate blank is a conjoined specimen made 
on a plate of gray slate (Figure 1 1 6:d). It is sub-rectan- 
gular in form and bifacially retouched along three 
edges; the fourth edge bears a remnant of the original 
flat plate edge (L= 99.6 mm, W= 52.2, TH= 8.0). 

Ground Slate Flakes and Tool Fragments 

Of the 1 3 ground slate flakes, seven (53.8%) are made 
of beige slate, four (30.8%) of gray slate and one each 
(7.7%) of green and red-brown slate. One flake is a tool 
fragment with a ground, heavily battered bevel (Figure 
1 16:c). 

Schist Tablets and Fragments 

Two schist tablets were recovered. One is a small knife- 
shaped bar of chlorite schist (Figure 1 1 1 :e) that appears 
worn, although not necessarily by cultural modification 
(L = 81.9 mm, W= 28.6, TH = 6.7). The other is an 
unmodified plate of phyllite schist (Figure 1 1 1 :g); its 
association with Feature 3 suggests it was a cultural 
affordance (L = 1 1 7.3 mm, W = 1 01 .9, TH = 1 0.2). 

Red Ocher Nodules 

Tiny fragments of red ocher were associated with two 
features. Nearby Feature 2 were nine fragments weigh- 
ing a total of 3.2 g. Adjacent to Feature 3 were three 
fragments, weighing 14.2 g. 

THE NUKASUSUTOK-5 ASSEMBLAGE 
IN A COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE 

As discussed more fully in Chapter 9, significant prob- 
lems are encountered when comparing Maritime 



Archaic assemblages. Raised beach sites that have 
been reoccupied repeatedly, like Nukasusutok-5, have 
horizontal stratigraphy and potential palimpsest 
deposits. Consequently, surface collections, test pits 
and limited excavations that do not define behavioral- 
ly relevant units (such as dwelling modules) may pro- 
duce an unrepresentative material of limited value for 
inter-assemblage comparisons. Nonetheless, some 
general observations should be made regarding the 
position of the Nukasusutok-5 assemblage relative to 
other material from northern and central Labrador. 

Since the radiocarbon dates from Nukasusutok-5 
are spread between 6000-5000 B.P. it is hardly surpris- 
ing that the material shares similarities with both the 
Naksak Complex of northern Labrador (7000-6000 
B.P.) and the Sandy Cove Complex (5200-4500 B.P.) of 
the central coast. Nukasusutok-5 and Naksak sites 
share lanceolate bipoint projectiles, side-notched 
bifaces, convex-based bifaces, endscrapers, small celts 
and a high frequency of bipolar cores (cf., Fitzhugh 
1978:Figures 6-9). They differ, however, in that 
Nukasusutok-5 lacks nipple-based points but has a dis- 
tinct inventory of flake points. Nukasusutok and the 
Sandy Cove Complex have in common tapered stem 
points, convex-based bifaces and copious use of 
quartz reduced by bipolar techniques. They differ in 
that Nukasusutok has more extensive use of Ramah 
chert while Sandy Cove lacks endscrapers. 

The general stylistic sequence of Maritime Archaic 
projectile points goes from early triangular and nipple- 
based types (7500-6000 B.P.) to more sharply shoul- 
dered, tapered stem forms (6000-3500 B.P.). Only two 
projectile points from Nukasusutok-5 are reasonably 
associated with the 6000 B.P. component. The speci- 
men from near hearth 1 1 at Area 2B, dated 6040±90, 
probably has the best context; it is quartz and has a 
tapered stem angled with the blade rather than clear 



^In contrast, an Early Maritime Archaic gouge from Koliktalik-1 in the Main area has a relatively cylindrical cross-section 
(Fitzhugh 1978: Figure 6j) and Late Maritime Archaic gouges have triangular or rectangular cross-sections (Fitzhugh 1978: 
Figure 5m, Tuck 1976; Plate 33). 



NUKASUSUTOK-5: MATERIAL CULTURE 



shoulders (Figure 99:b). A larger but similar quartz 
point (Figure 99:a) was associated with the south lobe 
at Area 2A, which has one radiocarbon date of 
5670±1 75 B.P.. A point from Area 2C1 was found ca. 2 
m from hearth 1 0, dated 6050±80; it is made of Ramah 
chert and has a tapered stem with rounded shoulders 
(Figure 98:c). The latter point is virtually identical to 
one from the southern lobe at Area 2A (Figure 98:b), 
dated ca. 5600 B.P.. The several stem fragments from 
the site (Figure 100) provide no information on shoul- 
der form. The rounded shoulder points from 
Nukasusutok-5 (Figure 98:b, c) are very similar to a 
point from Karl Oom lsland-3 in the Nain area, dated 
6080±380 B.P. and 6120±120 B.P. (Fitzhugh 1 985:83, 
1990:301). Considered as a whole, the Nukasusutok 
points and stem fragments bear a general resemblance 
to those from the Cull Arm-1 site in the Nain area, 
dated 5605±160 B.P. and 3285±80 B.P. (probably 
multi-component; Fitzhugh 1978:66, 78), as well as 
slightly later sites in other regions: Okak-2 in Okak Bay 
(4765±85 B.P., 4905+80 B.P.; Fitzhugh 1978:66, 78) 
and Sandy Cove-2 at Hamilton Inlet (no radiocarbon 
dates; Fitzhugh 1 972:92, 288). 



In conclusion, elements of the lithic assemblages 
from the various subareas at Nukasusutok-5 resemble 
those from Naksak Complex sites dated ca. 6000 B.P., 
although there are also similarities with later sites in 
other regions. Initially, the latter tendencies led 
Fitzhugh to disregard the ca. 5500 B.P. radiocarbon 
dates and place Nukasusutok-5 in the 5000-4500 B.P. 
range, based on "...typological convergence toward 
Rattlers Bight point styles and greater use of Ramah 
chert at the expense of quartz and Sandy Cove similar- 
ities..." (Fitzhugh 1978:77). This placement has been 
repeated more recently (Clark and Fitzhugh 
1992:196). It should now be clear from the larger 
excavated assemblage and additional radiocarbon 
dates that there is no basis for such a dating other 
than the problematic 4645+65 B.P. assay from Test Pit 
C at the western end of the site. The excavated assem- 
blage from Nukasusutok-5 can therefore constitute a 
baseline for defining a late Naksak phase in the 6000- 
5000 B.P. time range. 



-r 1,0 



FP 



SP 



SB 



-- 0.5 



-1.5 

Axis 1 (68.3%) h- 



OTH 

-1.0^ PI ^-0.5 • 



SC 



UF, 



A Tool class 
• Area 



2B 



PR 



Bl 0.5 
i^H- 



CO 



1.0 1.5 



ST 



CA 



2C 



A ---0.5 



TM 



-1.0 Axis 2 (22.0%) 



/ / 7/ Correspondence analysis plot of tool classes and Nukasusutok-5 subareas. 
1 76 CHAPTER 8 



NuLasusutok-^: Inter-Area 



Co 



arisons 



elusions 



The previous chapters have described and interpret- 
ed each of the subareas at Nukasusutok-5. While 
each subarea stands on its own as an analytical unit, 
they will now be compared to consider the implica- 
tions of intra-site variation. Evaluation of intra-site 
variation is based on comparisons of tool assem- 
blages, lithic raw materials, technological organiza- 
tion and behavioral inferences drawn from spatial 
patterning. Area 1 is omitted, since the scale of 
investigation was too limited to draw conclusions. 
Areas 2A and 2B contained spatial configurations 
that were not completely exposed by excavation, but 
their assemblages will be considered nonetheless. 
The chapter ends with some observations on the sig- 
nificance of Nukasusutok-5 for understanding pat- 
terns in Early/Middle Maritime Archaic assemblage 
structure. 

INTER-AREA COMPARISONS 
Tool Assemblages 

The first characteristic to be compared is variation in 
tool assemblages. Table 38 outlines the tool class 
percentages at each subarea, showing obvious differ- 
ences in the proportions of utilized flakes, bipolar 
cores, block cores and slate tool fragments. Figure 
1 1 7 displays a correspondence analysis plot based on 
the frequency data. The first dimension accounts for 
68.3% of the variation and distinguishes Areas 2C 



and 3 on the right, pulled by block cores, from Area 
2A on the left, pulled by bipolar cores. The second 
dimension, which accounts for 22.0% of the variation, 
contrasts Area 2B on the bottom, pulled by its high 
percentage of utilized flakes, with assemblages in 
which block cores are frequent and flake points have 
a modest significance: Area 3 in particular and Area 
2A to a lesser extent. Thus, the subareas are distin- 
guished mainly in terms of lithic reduction and expe- 
dient tool variables. The more form-invested tool 
classes do not occur in high enough frequencies to 
draw reliable inferences about intra-site patterning. 

Tool Raw Materials 

Table 39 provides a percentage comparison of tool 
raw material frequencies between the subareas. 
Quartz tools occur in similar percentages across the 
Area 2 subareas while Area 3 has a slightly higher 
proportion. Ramah chert is also fairly even across 
the Area 2 subareas, but is slightly less frequent at 
Area 3. Mugford and black cherts occur in relatively 
low percentages over most of Area 2, with the excep- 
tion of Area 2B, which has a high proportion of black 
chert. Area 3 is notable for containing only a single 
tool of Mugford chert. Slate varies slightly, with sim- 
ilar proportions in Areas 2A and 2C, a higher propor- 
tion in Area 3 and lower percentage in Area 28. 
Schist is most frequent at Area 2C. Thus, the differ- 
ences between the subareas are fairly minor. 



NUKASUSUTOK-5: INTER-AREA COMPARISONS AND CONCLUSIONS 



Table 38. Inter-Area Percentage Comparison of Tool Classes. 





PT 


Bl 


PR FP 


SC 


UF 


SP 


CA 


SB 


ST 


BC 


CO 


TM 


OTH 


TOTAL 


2A 


3.8 


4.7 


1.8 2.9 


6.5 


28.4 


1.2 


0.9 


3.5 


1 5.0 


16.7 


10.9 


2.1 


1.8 


341 


2B 


2.4 


2.4 


2.4 


7.2 


50.0 








14.3 


14.3 


4.8 


2.4 




42 


2C 


1.0 


5.2 


2.1 


2.1 


32.0 




3.1 


1.0 


22.7 


2.1 


20.6 


7.2 


1.0 


97 


3 




4.5 


1.5 4.5 


3.0 


19.4 




1.5 


1 .5 


22.4 


7.5 


31.4 


3.0 




67 



PT: points (bifacial), Bl: bifaces, PR: preforms (biface), FP: flake points, SC: scrapers (endscrapers and 
flake knives), UF: utilized flakes, SP: slate points, CA: celt/adze, SB: slate blanks (unmodified plates and 
blanks), ST: slate tool fragments (ground slate flakes and unidentified tool fragments), BC: bipolar 
cores, CO: block cores (quartz), TM: tool manufacturing (hammerstones, schist tablets, whetstones), 
and OTH: other (stemmed flakes, linear flakes, graver). 



Table 39. Inter-Area Percentage Comparison of Tool Raw Materials. 





Area 2A 


Area 2B 


Area 2C 


Area 3 


Quartz 


23.5 


21.4 


23.5 


32.8 


Ramah chert 


46.3 


47.6 


38.8 


35.8 


Mugford chert 


2.3 


2.4 




1 .5 


Black chert 


5.3 


9.5 


2 




Slate 


20.5 


16.7 


24.5 


26.9 


Schist 


1.5 




8.2 


3.0 


Other 


0.6 


2.4 


3.1 




Total 


341 


42 


98 


67 



Flake Raw Materials 

The next comparison is flake raw material percent- 
ages, as summarized in Table 40 and visualized in a 
stacked column graph (Figure 118). There are mod- 
erate differences in the proportions of quartz and 
Ramah chert between the Area 2 subareas, but 
quartz almost totally dominates at Area 3, associat- 
ed with a high frequency of block cores. Areas 2B 
and 2C have more patinated (thermally altered) 
Ramah chert. Area 28 has a high percentage of black 
chert, while Area 3 has little slate and entirely lacks 
Mugford and black chert. 



Technological Organization 

Organizational studies of lithic technology in 
"Americanist" archaeology have treated lithic pro- 
curement and use as embedded within a regional 
settlement system (e.g., Andrefsky 1 998:1 89ff.; 
Bamforth 1991; Binford 1979; Nelson 1991; Odell 
1996; Parry and Kelly 1987). Although a regional 
scale of analysis is impossible here, given the 
absence of detailed information on other Maritime 
Archaic lithic assemblages, the discussion is con- 
ducted with this broad scale in mind. Another 
perspective connects social agency theory with 



178 



CHAPTER 9 



Table 40. Inter-Area Percentage Comparison of Flake Raw Materials. 





Area 2A 


Micd £.0 




Area 3 


Qudrtz 




1 d P 




Oj.d 


rvdiilall Li Ici I 


fin 1 


fi7 7 






rdLlllaLcU rvdillctll 


1 7 


^ Q 


^ fi 


n n 


Mugford chert 


0.7 


1.4 


0.2 




Black chert 


0.7 


8.8 


1.3 




Slate 


5.4 


3.9 


2.9 


1 .5 


Total 


8248 


2330 


1809 


1828 



Nukasusutok-5 Flake Raw Materials 



100 % 
90% 
80 % 
70 % 
60 % 
50 % 
40 % 
30 % 
20 % 
10% 
0% 



Slate 
■ Black chert 

□ Mugford chert 
n Paiinafed Ramah chert 
S Ramah chert 

□ Quartz 



Area 2A Area 2B Area 2C 
Subarea 



Area 3 



/ 1 8/ Stacked column graph of Nukasusutok-S flake raw materials by subarea 



Leroi-Courhan's concept of chame operatoire to 
focus on technology as sequences of choices struc- 
tured by cultural schemas (e.g., Chilton 1999; 
Dobres 2000; Gamble 1999; Karlin and Julien 1994; 
Perles 1992; Schlanger 1994; Stark 1998). This 
approach is used implicitly here at the site-specific 
level, with an assumption of linkages to the regional 
scale through the settlement system. Chapters 6-7 
deployed certain organizational concepts as part of 
the descriptive framework for the spatial analysis, so 
the subareas will now be compared more explicitly 
from this perspective. Each lithic raw material is 



treated separately since they 
are used in different kinds of 
reduction systems. 

Quartz 

Quartz is ubiquitous in 
Early/Middle Maritime Archaic 
assemblages in central and 
northern Labrador, but largely 
goes out of use after 4500 B.P.. 
It is widely dispersed as veins in 
the Precambrian bedrock, 
including two outcrops identi- 
fied on Nukasusutok Island, one 
on a hill north of Nukasusutok- 
5. Archaeologically, quartz 
occurs primarily in the form of unmodified or minimal- 
ly retouched flakes, block cores and bipolar cores, but 
it was also used occasionally for crude projectile 
points. The quartz reduction system began with the 
collection of small quartz blocks, either tabular pieces 
derived from the bedrock or water-rolled pebbles from 
beach deposits; both are in evidence at Nukasusutok- 
5. The spatial analysis of Area 2A suggested that un- 
or minimally modified blocks were cached in the mid- 
dle area between the two behavioral modules, while 
most reduction occurred within the modules. 
Reduction was accomplished by both freehand and 



NUKASUSUTOK-5: INTER-AREA COMPARISONS AND CONCLUSIONS 



Table 41. Variation in Elements of Quartz Technology at Nukasusutok-5. 



No. Tools Block Cores Bipolar cores Flakes 

Area 2A 80 37 34 2588 

Area 28 9 2 5 332 

Area 2C 22 1 7 724 

Area 3 24 1 8 2 1569 



bipolar percussion, but the lacl< of partially retouched 
cores intermediate between the minimally modified 
blocks and bipolar cores indicates that reduction pro- 
ceeded rapidly from a raw block to an exhausted bipo- 
lar core. The desired product of the reduction process 
was flakes, since very few visibly retouched imple- 
ments are found. A wide variety of these flakes could 
have been used expediently for simple cutting/scrap- 
ing functions or specific size/shape variants might 
have been selected for hafting, along the lines of 
Flenniken's (1981:60-96) discussion of quartz 
"microliths" hafted in wooden handles being used for 
processing fish. Flakes might also have been selected 
for further bipolar reduction to produce even smaller 
fragments. At any stage in the reduction process bipo- 
lar cores could have been recycled for use as scrapers, 
wedges, etc. 

At Nukasusutok-5, quartz reduction characteris- 
tics vary slightly between the sub-areas. Table 41 com- 
pares aspects of quartz technology at each subarea, 
with the exception of the small assemblage from Area 
1 . The subareas at Area 2A are combined, so some of 
the spatial variation is masked. For all subareas, block 
and bipolar cores constitute ca. 80% or more of the 
quartz items classed as tools. Thus, as already noted 
above for Area 2A, quartz was rarely used to produce 
recognizable retouched implements; the primary goal 
was flake production, although the cores could have 
been put to secondary uses. Areas 2A and 2B have rel- 
atively high proportions of bipolar cores relative to 
block cores and total tools, while Area 3 has few bipo- 
lar cores and Area 2C none. While these observations 
may be affected by incomplete excavation at Areas 2B 



and 2C, there is at least a hint that bipolar reduction 
was less significant at Areas 2C and 3. 

If bipolar reduction was less prominent at Areas 
2C and 3, these subareas might also exhibit quartz 
flake size distributions with a better representation of 
larger sizes than the other subareas since bipolar 
reduction could lead to more thorough reduction of 
quartz than the freehand percussion technique. The 
line graphs of quartz flake size distributions (Figure 
1 1 9) do not provide much support for this. Area 3 has 
the lowest percentage of material in the <10 to <20 
mm categories (i.e., fewer small flakes) and a slightly 
higher percentage in the 35-40 mm category. Area 2C 
has the highest percentage of material in the 1 0-1 5mm 
category (small flakes) and a slightly elevated percent- 
age in the 25-30mm category. Area 2A, which has 
large numbers of bipolar cores, has the lowest percent- 
age of flakes in the smallest <1 0mm category, but the 
highest in the 15-20 mm and 20-25 mm categories. 
Thus, by themselves, the quartz flake size distribu- 
tions are not very clear indicators of differences in 
reduction patterns. More detailed analysis of quartz 
fracture patterns (cf., Callahan et al. 1992; Knutsson 
1998) is necessary to fill out this picture. 

Ramah Chert 

Ramah chert was derived from its bedrock sources 300 
km to the north in the Ramah Bay region (Gramly 1 978; 
Lazenby 1980). The material could be quarried direct- 
ly from the bedrock or easily picked up as large blocks 
or plates in stream beds or from loose talus slopes. 
These blocks were processed at or near the sources 
into biface blanks of varying sizes, which were then 



180 



CHAPTER 9 



transported south. The blanks 
were modified as needed by 
bifacial reduction into the 
required tool form. 

Consequently, Ramah chert 
debitage in the Nain region con- 
sists mostly of biface-thinning 
and other secondary retouch 
flakes, with little trace of pri- 
mary reduction flakes bearing 
cortex. "Stage 1" quarry blanks 
seem to be rare in the Nain area, 
but smaller bifacial point pre- 
forms are frequent. Ramah 
chert was used primarily for 
projectile points throughout the 
time span of the Maritime 
Archaic, although flakes from 
biface reduction were selected 
for use as expedient tools (uti- 
lized flakes, flake knives, flake 
points). In contrast to Dorset, 
the Maritime Archaic almost 
never used Ramah chert for 
endscrapers. In sum, this is a 
classic example of a curated 
biface technology (cf., Kelly 
1988; Parry and Kelly 1987). 

Table 42 compares ele- 
ments of Ramah chert technolo- 
gy between the subareas. Area 
3 stands out for its general 
paucity of Ramah chert, yet it 
also has: a) a relatively high pro- 
portion of tools to flakes, and b) 
a high proportion of large 
biface-thinning flakes (BTFs), 
perhaps linked to the presence 
of possible quarry blank frag- 
ments among the bifaces. 
These variations may be minor. 



Quartz flake size distribution 

35,0 -1 




<10 <20 <30 <40 <50 <60 <70 <80 <90 <100 
5 mm classes 



/ / 9/ Quartz flake size distribution at Nukasusutok-5. 



Ramah chert flake size distribution 

45,0 T 




<10 <20 <30 <40 <50 <60 <70 <80 
5 mm classes 



i 20/ Ramah chert flake size distribution at Nukasusutok-5. 



Fine-grained chert flake size distribution 




<10 <15 <20 <25 <30 <35 <40 <45 <50 
5 mm classes 



121/ Fine-grained chert flake size distribution at Nukasusutok-5. 



NUKASUSUTOK 5 INTER-AREA COMPARISONS AND CONCLUSIONS 



181 



Table 42. Variation in Elements of Ramah Chert Technology at Nukasusutok-5. 





Tools 


Bifacial 
Points 


Bifaces 


Preforms 


Retouched 
Flakes* 


Utilized 
flakes 


Bipolar 
Cores 


BTFs 
(N/large) 


Flakes 


Area 2A 


1 58 


12 


1 5 


6 


1 7 


88 


19 


637/88 


4957 


Area 2B 


20 




1 




2 


1 5 


1 


149/8 


1669 


Area 2C 


41 


1 


5 


2 


1 


25 


2 


114/14 


1006 


Area 3 


23 




1 


2 


4 


13 


3 


17/10 


238 



'includes flake points, flake knives and stemmed flakes 



Table 43. Variation in Elements of Fine-Crained Chert Technology at Nukasusutok-5. 



Tools Endscrapers Util./ret. flakes Bipolar Cores Flakes 

Area 2A 26 16 5 4 122 

Area 2B 5 1 4 237 

Area 2C 2 1 1 19 

Area 3 1 1 



but they parallel other behavioral differences linked to 
the presence of the red ocher features. Otherwise, the 
large number of BTFs at Area 2A is clearly associated 
with the substantial numbers of bifacial points, biface 
fragments and preforms. The bifacial tool component 
varies from highs of 2 1 % and 1 9.5% at Areas 2A and 
2C, respectively, to lows of 1 3% and 5% at Areas 3 and 
2B, respectively. The proportion of expedient tools 
(retouched and utilized flakes) is high in all the assem- 
blages, ranging from 63% to 85% of all Ramah chert 
implements. It is notable that Ramah chert occasional- 
ly was subjected to bipolar reduction, but this was a 
secondary technique implemented on broken tools or 
flakes produced by direct percussion. It is unclear 
whether the purpose was production of small flakes to 
maximize the use-life of the material or a specific func- 
tion such as wedging/splitting. 

Figure 120 charts the size distribution of Ramah 
chert flakes at the four subareas. The distributions 
have generally similar profiles except for the smallest 



<10 mm flake size category. For the latter. Areas 3 
and 2A have relatively low percentages (17.2% and 
24.4%, respectively) while Areas 2C and 2B have high- 
er percentages (39.2% and 36.6%, respectively). All 
areas were screened with the same mesh size, but the 
differences could indicate some kind of collection bias 
since the low-percentage areas were both excavated 
in 1979 and the high percentage areas in 1992-93. 
Reviewing the results for quartz (Figure 1 1 9), the Area 
2A excavation from 1 979 also exhibits a slightly lower 
percentage in the smallest size class than the other 
subareas, which might support the case for collection 
bias. Looking more closely at the line graph, Areas 2B 
and 2C have almost identical profiles from the 1 5-20 
mm class onwards. Area 3, however, has a consistent- 
ly higher representation of the larger flake sizes from 
1 5-20 mm onwards, while Area 2A is intermediate. If 
we hypothetically assign a slightly larger number of 
flakes to the smallest size class to compensate for col- 
lection bias it is likely that Area 3 would still have a 



182 



CHAPTER 9 



relatively low percentage in the smallest size class and 
the overall profile would remain similar. Although the 
difference may, therefore, be "real," the small sample 
size from Area 3 (238 flakes) should also be taken 
into account. 

Fine-Grained Chert 

The term fine-grained chert refers to both Mugford 
cherts of varied colour (gray, green, beige, patinated) 
as well as black chert, some of which was derived from 
the Mugford sources (Cramly 1978; Lazenby 1980), 
some of which might have been from sources in Sagiek 
Bay (Chapter 2). These cherts occur as thin tablets that 
are transportable without the systematic preliminary 
reduction used for Ramah chert. Nonetheless, not a 
single core of the material occurs at Nukasusutok-S. 
Fine-grained cherts were used almost exclusively for 
the production of small endscrapers, although one 
biface fragment is present in the Nukasusutok-5 col- 
lection. A few utilized flakes and bipolar cores are also 
present. As noted in the comparison of flake and tool 
raw materials (Tables 39, 40), fine-grained cherts 
occur in rather low percentages. The low frequency of 
these items is underlined in Table 43, which combines 
the Mugford and black cherts. Only Area 2A has a sub- 
stantial number of tools, while Area 2B has twice as 
many flakes but substantially fewer tools. This might 
be interpreted as a high rate of tool discard at Area 2A, 
contrasted with more production or retouch at Area 28 
combined with less discard, or curation of finished 
products to other localities. The almost complete 
absence of fine-grained cherts at Area 3 reinforces the 
impression that this subarea differs from the others in 
function, meaning and chronology. It should be 
emphasized, however, that low overall frequency of 
fine-grained chert need not signify minor cultural or 
organizational significance. Considerable effort was 
expended to acquire a material that was used mostly 
for a single purpose: endscrapers. 

Figure 121 shows the size distribution for fine- 
grained chert flakes at Area 2. Again, the portion exca- 



vated in 1979 (Area 2A) has a lower percentage of 
material in the smallest size class. Areas 2A and 28 
parallel each other closely, while Area 2A exhibits a 
slight peak in the 20-25 mm size class. Overall, there 
is a strong skewing towards small flakes of 10-15 mm 
or less, which implies emphasis on secondary and ter- 
tiary retouch rather than any form of core reduction. In 
sum, the flake size distribution, the small size of the 
finished tools (endscrapers) and the lack of cores sug- 
gest that fine-grained cherts were curated as finished 
tools or flake preforms. 

Slate 

The most likely source for the slates is the Cape 
Mugford region. Several colour and texture variants 
were used. In contrast to the fine-grained cherts, it 
appears that raw plates of slate were often transport- 
ed "as is" from the sources then reduced as needed. 
This is suggested by the presence of several minimal- 
ly worked plates in the Nukasusutok material. These 
raw materials were then roughed into blanks and pre- 
forms by direct percussion. The latter were then 
ground into finished tools, possibly with schist tablets. 

Table 44 outlines elements of the slate technolo- 
gy system at Nukasusutok-5. Area 2A was the obvious 
center for slate reduction. A considerable number of 
raw slate plates and tool blanks were present, either 
cached as raw materials or discarded during the man- 
ufacturing process. The frequency of ground slate 
flakes, in some cases clearly edge-rejuvenation flakes, 
attests to the reworking of finished or partly finished 
tools. Attempts to refit these flakes to the tools found 
in the subarea were unsuccessful, suggesting the 
"cores ' were removed from the site. Combined with the 
low frequency of finished tools, this could imply main- 
tenance of curated implements. Areas 2C and 3 exhib- 
ited only modest indications of tool production and 
maintenance while Area 28 had the fewest indicators 
of slate reduction. The flake size distribution for slate 
is portrayed in Figure 122. The line graph profiles are 
extremely variable, most likely an expression of ran- 



NUKASUSUTOK 5: INTER-AREA COMPARISONS AND CONCLUSIONS 



183 



Slate flake size distribution 




<30 <40 

5 mm classes 



122/ Slate flake size distribution at Nukasusutok-5. 

dom variations in small samples rather than meaning- 
ful patterning. 



the social composition of the 
groups. But the differences 
could also be the result of "fall- 
out" from activities positioned 
at different points on the pro- 
curement and reduction cycle; 
that is, a consequence of raw 
material availability and contin- 
gent organizational constraints 
rather than a direct reflection of 
site-function requirements or 
social variables. Sorting out 
these alternatives requires situ- 
ating Nukasusutok-5 within the 
regional and supra-regional contexts of Maritime 
Archaic settlement and procurement systems. 



SUMMARY 

The Maritime Archaic inhabitants of Nukasusutok-5 
organized their lithic technology into two primary sys- 
tems: a) a highly expedient component using an abun- 
dant local raw material (quartz), and b) a highly curat- 
ed component involving non-local materials. The latter 
consisted of different reduction systems for each of 
the materials involved. The Ramah chert system 
involved the transport of large bifaces that were: a) 
reduced along a core-tool trajectory to produce "high 
performance" form-invested tools (points, bifaces), 
while b) debitage from core reduction was employed 
for expedient tools (utilized flakes etc.). Fine-grained 
cherts were transported as small tablets, flakes or fin- 
ished tools, with a strong focus on a specific imple- 
ment— endscrapers— and little expedient flake use. 
Slate was transported as raw plates, blanks and fin- 
ished tools; production and maintenance involved a 
time-consuming grinding process after initial reduc- 
tion. The subareas at Nukasusutok-5 differ slightly in 
the emphasis placed on these organizational systems. 
These differences may signal choices made in 
response to site-function considerations or variation in 



CONCLUSIONS 

Nukasusutok-5 is one of the few Early/Middle Maritime 
Archaic sites that has been excavated sufficiently to 
provide a reasonably representative sample for under- 
standing spatial patterning and assemblage composi- 
tion. As such, it is difficult to place the site in a broad- 
er systemic context because there are insufficient com- 
parable assemblages to work with. By way of conclu- 
sion, a number of points that could be pursued in 
future research are discussed. 

In the last major synthesis of northern Maritime 
Archaic culture-history, Fitzhugh (1978:72) grouped 
most of the Early/Middle Maritime Archaic sites in the 
Nain region into the "Naksak Complex," although he 
recognized that this entity was problematic: 

Many of these sites are deflated or partly 
eroded, with artifacts found on the surface 
and in buried deposits. Local topographic 
conditions rendered some sites useful for 
long periods, while others were occupied 
briefly. Until these factors can be analyzed it 
seems better to acknowledge the probable 



184 



CHAPTER 9 



Table 44. Variation in Elements of Slate Technology at Nukasusutok-5. 





Tools'^ 


Ground flakes/fragments 


Plates/blanks 


Schist 


Flakes 


Area 2A 


7 


51 


1 1 


5 


443 


Area 2B 




6 






92 


Area 2C 


3 


24 


1 


6 


52 


Area 3 


2 


1 3 


1 


3 


20 


■ Points, 


celts/adzes 











"lumped" nature of this complex (Fitzhugh 
1978:72). 

Fitzhugh goes on to refer to "considerable typo- 
logical variation" at some sites, particularly those situ- 
ated in topographical locations that could be used over 
long periods of time, and he mentions sites of differ- 
ent character and dating that may form the basis for 
defining additional archaeological complexes, such as 
the Nukasusutok and Gull Arm Croups (Fitzhugh 
1 978:72-77). This sense of barely ordered variability is 
understandable since the data base was derived most- 
ly from surface surveys and small test excavations, and 
radiocarbon dates were scarce. But ordering that vari- 
ability will be difficult without a better understanding 
of individual site structure. 

Nukasustok-5 illustrates some of these problems. 
It is located in a protected harbour on a prominent 
tombolo beach that was a magnet for settlement from 
6000 B.P. to 4500 B.P. and perhaps later. Area 2 
revealed three or four occupation components repre- 
senting at least two chronological phases (ca. 6000 
B.P. and 5500 B.P.). Components of these two phases 
overlapped slightly at the junction of Areas 2A and 2B. 
Within Area 2A two behavioral modules that might rep- 
resent dwelling features were identified. The modules 
were similar in spatial organization but varied some- 
what in tool and flake raw material contents. Area 2C 
might have contained a similar dwelling module. Area 
2B exhibited a different behavioral pattern consisting 
of a central pit-hearth complex ringed by deposits of 



fire-cracked rock. This pattern was interpreted as 
either an outdoor feature with a concentric drop-toss 
zone or a dwelling module with fire-cracked rock dis- 
carded outside along a tent wall. The Area 2 subareas 
displayed slight differences in their frequencies of tool 
types and lithic raw materials and in their technologi- 
cal organization, but the chronological distinctions 
suggested by the radiocarbon dates were not paral- 
lelled by clear differences in tool typology. The proba- 
bly later occupation at Area 3 (5000 B.P.) was not so 
much typologically different as it was behaviorally dis- 
tinct from the Area 2 occupations. 

At the intra-site level of analysis, the 
Nukasusutok-5 material underlines: a) the importance 
of excavating and analysing entire behavioral units so 
as to provide a meaningful baseline for comparison, 
and b) the need to acquire several such samples from 
large, complex and chronologically diverse sites in 
order to understand both their chronological position 
and their role in the regional settlement system. At the 
inter-site level, the variability uncovered in the 
Nukasusutok-5 material raises problems as to what is 
an adequate unit of inter-assemblage comparison. The 
subareas cannot simply be lumped together and com- 
pared with some other composite of assemblages or 
with more discrete assemblages. To be meaningful, 
comparisons and culture-historical integration must be 
based on behaviorally distinct assemblages, such as 
the possible dwelling modules at Area 2A. 

Another implication of the present analysis is 
that comparisons based on traditional tool typology 



NUKASUSUTOK-5: INTER-AREA COMPARISONS AND CONCLUSIONS 



185 



may be of limited value for understanding settlement 
systems and social process. It may be more useful to 
investigate other dimensions of variation such as pat- 
terning in different lithic reduction systems, as dis- 
cussed in this chapter. The intra-site analysis of 
Nukasusutok-5 suggests that assemblages could be 
scaled in relation to which components of lithic 
reduction systems are present or absent and in rela- 
tion to the articulation between expedient and more 
"organized" components of the technologies. 
Unfortunately, such analyses cannot be undertaken 
until such a time as a sufficient number of appropri- 
ate assemblages become available. 

The analysis of Nukasusutok-5 also contributes to 
the empirical and methodological aspects of Maritime 
Archaic dwelling structure studies. At Area 2A it was 
possible to identify two behavioral modules that 
might be dwelling remains. Two alternative interpreta- 
tions were suggested: (1) each module represents a 
small tent structure of 4 by 3 m in size; the spatial 
organization of activities at each structure was highly 
symmetrical and the dwellings had a common orienta- 
tion to a large central rock, and (2) each module was 
a component of a larger rectangular segmented struc- 
ture of 4 by 6-1- m in size; although the spatial organ- 
ization of the modules was highly symmetrical the 
modules were integrated into the rectangular struc- 
tures in slightly different ways. Both interpretations 
were problematic, however, since the multiple hearth 
features could indicate re-occupation events rather 
than discrete dwellings. Consequently, although the 
"longhouse model" provided a framework for identify- 
ing spatial patterning, the meaning of that patterning 
remained ambiguous. More detailed investigations of 
Early/Middle Maritime Archaic sites will be necessary 
to clarify how the Area 2A patterns fit into the range 
of variation in Maritime Archaic site structure. 

The methodological strategy outlined in Chapter 
3 involved playing off a model-based analysis versus 
model-independent pattern recognition techniques. 



The model-based analysis focused on hearth-centered 
distributions that could be viewed within the segmen- 
tal or modular framework of the longhouse model. 
Qualitative visual analysis of flake distributions 
proved to be the crucial element in identifying behav- 
ioral modules. Other lines of evidence were then 
explored within this postulated modular framework, 
largely through the use of simple cross-tabulation 
techniques. K-means cluster analysis was used as a 
model-independent exploratory technique to identify 
tool groupings by physical proximity rather than by 
sorting them into preconceived behavioral modules. 
This proved useful for mapping hearth-centered distri- 
butions at the micro-level and for pointing to possible 
variations in the lithic materials associated with each 
feature, but the sample sizes in each cluster were too 
small to have much statistical significance. The clus- 
ter analysis could not provide a basis for combining 
hearth-centered distributions into larger behavioral 
units; ultimately, this had to be accomplished by qual- 
itative means and within model assumptions. A differ- 
ent model-independent technique, correspondence 
analysis, was used to explore patterning in flake raw 
materials at Area 2A. The results were consistent with 
the model-based analysis. 

Overall, the analysis showed that relatively sim- 
ple qualitative and quantitative methods are capable 
of detecting meaningful patterning at Maritime 
Archaic sites lacking in traces of architecture that 
would facilitate the definition of analytical units. But 
this patterning would have been difficult to identify 
if the flake distributions had not been plotted sys- 
tematically in the field. Consequently, future analy- 
ses of Maritime Archaic (and other) sites should 
point plot debitage distributions so as not to miss 
patterns that would be indistinct in quadrat sum- 
maries. Spatial data should be as high resolution as 
possible, otherwise it may be difficult to identify 
behavioral modules such as those that were crucial 
to the present analysis. 



186 



CHAPTER 9 




Edward Flowers and Sam Saimat looking for basking seals on the sea ice near Dog Island, April 1994. 



NUKASUSUTOK-5: INTER-AREA COMPARISONS AND CONCLUSIONS 



187 



1 23/ Nukasusutok-l 2: overview towards the southwest. 



CHAPTER 10 



Nukasusutolc-lZ: Earlt)/ 
Middle Dorset Axial Structures 



6 



Nukasusutok-1 2 (HcCh-14) was discovered during a 
1979 survey when a well preserved axial structure 
(Structure-1 ) was observed almost completely exposed 
in a blow-out. The few tools noted on the surface indi- 
cated a Dorset affiliation, but the feature bore a strik- 
ing resemblance to Pre-Dorset axial structures and it 
seemed to differ from Middle and Late Dorset tent ring 
structures recorded in northern Labrador by the 
Torngat Archaeological Project (e.g., R. Jordan 
1980:611). An Early Dorset affiliation was suspected, 
so the site was investigated further in 1980. It was 
revisited briefly in 1992. 

The site is situated at the head of a shallow bight 
on the south side of Nukasusutok Island, west of Wyatt 
Harbour (Figure 1 6). It lies at an elevation of 5.5-7.5 m 
asl. at the western end of a narrow east-west trending 
pass between steep rocky hills. At the time of occupa- 
tion, higher sea level would have resulted in a well-pro- 
tected cove extending considerably further inland than 
at present, providing an excellent location for boat 
landings. Lithic material occurs sporadically over an 
area of roughly 1500 m^, at least half of which is 
wholly or partially deflated, the rest is covered with 
lichen and crowberry. Two axial features (Structures 1 
and 2) were clearly visible near the middle of the 
beach, while traces of a third (Structure 3) lay towards 



the southern side of the pass, and a fourth (Structure 
4) was identified in a test pit on the northern edge of 
the pass beside a rock-fall (Figures 123 and 124). 
Three test pits (TP 1-3) in a small area on the south 
side of the pass revealed a rich tool deposit, but no 
trace of structural remains. It is possible that addition- 
al structures are present at the site, deeply embedded 
in the gravel. Most of the site is underlain by aeolian 
sands and gravel, but two large clay boils are located 
on a low ridge in the center of the main deflated area 
near Structure 2. The three test pits (TP 1-3) on the 
south side of the pass exposed a thick basal clay 
mixed with small cobbles. 

The 1980 fieldwork consisted of the complete 
excavation of two axial features (Structures 1 and 2) 
and the excavation of seven test pits, two of which 
revealed the presence of additional structures. The two 
excavated structures will be presented first, followed 
by the test units. 

STRUCTURE 1 

Structure 1 was the lowest feature identified at the 
site, located at ca. 6.5 m asl. in the middle of the beach 
pass. When discovered in 1 979 the feature was almost 
completely exposed in a sand-gravel blow-out. A total 
of 23.25 m^ was excavated to expose entirely the 



^Nukasusutok-1 2 was described previously in Hood (1 986). This chapter is based on the earlier report, but the material has 
been reworked, supplemented with tool descriptions and reinterpreted. It should be regarded as the "authoritative" account. 



NUKASUSUTOK-1 2 EARLY/MIDDLE DORSET AXIAL STRUCTURES 



189 



oQo-^ . 

rock fall OVO^O 



1 




1 24/ Nukasusutokl 2 sitemap. 



Structural components and recover any buried lithics. 
The structure consisted of a ca. 6 m long axial feature 
aligned NNW-SSE, running obliquely to the beach front 
(Figures 1 25 and 1 26). Excavation at the southern end 
of the structure required the removal of 25 cm of lam- 
inated aeolian sand and thin humus horizons to 
expose a 2 cm thick black humus zone that appeared 
to correspond with the floor level of the feature. This 
humus level was limited to the outer periphery of the 
excavation, mostly outside what were interpreted as 
tent anchor rocks. Consequently, the structure took 
the appearance of an axial feature bisecting a 3.5-4.0 
m wide sub-rectangular patch of gravel. Although it is 
possible this gravel patch is a partial consequence of 
deflation, its orientation relative to the feature sug- 
gests a thin sod layer may have been removed to pro- 
vide a gravel floor for the dwelling or that it was tram- 
pled away during the occupation. 

The axial feature was 5.0 m long and 0.75-l.Om 
wide. It was constructed of parallel rows of thick flat- 
topped rocks embedded in the gravel end-to-end 
lengthwise, but was disturbed at its northern end. 
Several rocks on the eastern edge of the feature were 
slightly displaced to the west and on the western edge 



some of the axial rocks were missing. At both ends of 
the feature were high large rocks, morphologically 
unlike those composing the feature itself. These end- 
rocks lay perpendicular to the feature's long axis and 
formed the feature terminus, although they were 
placed slightly back from the feature and did not form 
a continuous alignment with it. There were no trans- 
verse partitions or paving stones inside the axial bor- 
der rocks, but at each end of the feature were the 
remains of hearths. Just south of the feature's center 
lay two thin flat slabs, one of schist. Both slabs were 
notched on one longitudinal edge and modified to be 
flat on the other edge. These were presumably soap- 
stone vessel support rocks. To the north of the fea- 
ture's center were a broken, blubber-stained, fire- 
cracked rock and a thin slate slab with a battered and 
notched edge, probably the remains of additional ves- 
sel support rocks. 

The only tools associated with the structure were 
the proximal portions of two Ramah chert microblades 
(W= 1 2.4, 1 2.4 mm, TH= 4.5, 2.8). One of these was 
surface collected from near the terminus rocks at the 
north end of the feature, the other was excavated from 
within the black humus zone at the southern boundary 



190 



CHAPTER 10 



1x6y 




5x6y 



1x1y 





o 










(7 









5x0y 



Gravel floor edge 
Burned fat-stained rock 
Schist slab 
F Flat rock 
N Notched rock 
• Microblade 



of the excavation. The latter 
specimen may not be associat- 
ed with Structure 1 since sever- 
al rocks at the humus zone level 
of this end of the excavation 
may be part of another buried 
feature. No flakes were found in 
Structure 1 . 



1 25/ Nukasusutok-l 2: Structure 1. 




1 26/ Nukasusutok-1 2: Structure 1, view towards the south. 



NUKASUSUTOK 1 2 EARLY/MIDDLE DORSET AXIAL STRUCTURES 



191 



]27/ Nukasusbttok-l 2 Structure 2. 



STRUCTURE 2 

Structure 2 (Figure 127 and 
128) was located near the cen- 
ter of the beach, about 28 m 
east of Structure 1 and adjacent 
to the large clay boils. Its eleva- 
tion was no more than a meter 
above Structure 1 and it was ori- 
ented at an oblique angle to the 
beach front, running NE-SW. 
The structure consisted of an 
axial feature 4.0 m long and ca. 
0.7 m wide, constructed of thick 
flat slabs embedded in the sur- 
face gravel end-to-end length- 
wise. The feature boundary 
rocks were displaced at the cen- 
ter of the alignment for a distance of 1.5 m and the 
scatter of rocks at both ends of the feature indicated a 
greater degree of disturbance than at Structure 1 . The 
southern end of the feature was bounded by two high 
large terminus rocks, structurally continuous with the 
feature, but the northern terminus was indistinct. 

The axial feature contained at least two and pos- 
sibly three hearth areas, one at each end of the align- 
ment and perhaps another in the middle. At the south- 
ern end of the feature two thin, flat, notched and blub- 
ber-encrusted schist slabs lay fallen between the fea- 
ture boundary rocks near a concentration of crumbled 
schist fragments. A third notched and burned fat- 
encrusted schist slab was wedged vertically against a 
western boundary rock. These notched slabs were 
probably used as soapstone vessel supports and frag- 
ments of a near-complete soapstone vessel were found 
nearby. Several small horizontally placed flat slabs 
inside the feature may be the remnants of a floor pave- 
ment. At the northern end of the alignment were a pair 
of fallen notched and burned fat- encrusted schist 
slabs that lay near a concentration of crumbled schist 
fragments and a soapstone vessel sherd. Several hori- 
zontal flat slabs, one of which was levelled with a shim 



10x10y 




12K8y 

^ Axial passage border rock 

Burned fat-stained rock 
CD Schist slab 
F Flat rock 
N Notched rock 



rock, may be the remains of an internal floor pave- 
ment. In the disturbed center of the feature were three 
blubber-encrusted rocks, a stray notched schist slab 
and a soapstone vessel sherd. These may be the 
remains of a third hearth, but considering the degree 
of disturbance they could have been thrown there from 
the other hearth areas. 

The overall dimensions of the structure were diffi- 
cult to determine given the absence of obvious perime- 
ter anchor rocks and the lack of axial terminus rocks 
at the north end of the passage. But judging from the 
artifact distribution and the position of possible 
perimeter rocks the structure may have been about 
five meters long and four meters wide. 

Spatial Patterning 

Unlike lithic sterile Structure 1, Structure 2 contained 
74 tools. The original spatial analysis of the distribu- 
tion patterns (Hood 1986) was complicated by artifact 
provenience problems related to missing records. 
During re-analysis only 53 of the 74 tools could be 
point-plotted with certainty; most of the missing items 
are microblades. Additionally, some of the point-plot- 
ted microblades could not be related back to specific 



192 



CHAPTER 10 



1 28/ Nukasusutok-1 2: Structure 2, view towards the southwest. 



catalogued implements, which made it difficult to dis- 
tinguish reliably between utilized and unutilized 
microblades. Although the missing information could 
skew the analysis somewhat, it is necessary to work 
with what is at hand. A nephrite flake and a slate flake 



7x1 Oy 



J L. 



lOxlOy 




1 29/ Nukasusutok-1 2: Structure 2 tool distribution and k-means cluster analysis 



were also included in the analysis, bringing the num- 
bers to 76 total, and 55 plotted items. 

The point-plot of tools (Figure 129) indicates 
that most were concentrated within a 1-1.5 m dis- 
tance of the axial feature. Following the bilateral 

organization model, a simple 

cross-tabulation analysis was 
presented in the original site 
description (Hood 1986:64), 
dividing the provenienced 
tools into spatial units associ- 
ated with the feature or lying 
to the east or west of it. A 
revised version of this table is 
presented in Table 45. Most of 
the tools are located close to 
the feature or on its eastern 
flank. There is little clear pat- 
terning in tool class distribu- 
tions besides the limitation of 



♦ Biface 

A Endblade 

Endblade preform 

• Microblade 

* Nephrite flake 

B Side-nolched biface 

■ Slate bitace 

• Slate flal>e 

^ Soapstone vessel sfierd 

f& Tip-fluting spall 

+ Utilized nake 



NUKASUSUTOK-1 2: EARLY/MIDDLE DORSET AXIAL STRUCTURES 



193 



Table 45. Nukasusutok-1 2: Structure 2 Tool Classes in Relation to the Bilateral Axial Feature Model. 





iviia 


tdSl 


west 


Prov. N (%) 


No Prov. 


TOTAL N (%) 


Triangular endblades 


z 


") 

Z 




4 


(7 3^ 




4 




Endblade preforms 








3 


(5.5) 




3 


(3.9) 


Side-notched bifaces 


1 
1 






1 


(1.8) 




1 


(1.3) 


Slate bifaces 




1 
1 




1 


(1.8) 




1 


(1.3) 


Ramah chert bifaces 


1 






1 


(1.8) 


/I 


5 


(6.6) 


Tip-fluting spalls 




1 
1 


-) 

c 


3 


(5.5) 


D 


6 


(7.9) 


M icroblades 


1 3 


1 7 


D 


36 (65.5) 


1 D 
1 D 


49 (64.5) 


utiiizeo TiaKes 


1 
1 






1 


(1.8) 


1 


2 


(2.6) 


Slate flakes 


1 






1 


(1.8) 




1 


(1.3) 


Nephrite flakes 






1 


1 


(1.8) 




1 


(1.3) 


Soapstone vessels 


3 






3 


(5.5) 




3 


(3.9) 


TOTAL 


22 


24 


9 


55 




21 


76 





Table 46. Nukasusutok-1 2: Structure 2 Tool Classes by Front/Back Divisions. 





Front 


Back 


Middle 


TOTAL N (%) 


Triangular endblades 


4 






4 


(7.3) 


Endblade preforms 


3 






3 


(5.5) 


Side-notched bifaces 




1 




1 


(1.8) 


Slate bifaces 




1 




1 


(1.8) 


Ramah chert bifaces 






1 


1 


(1.8) 


Tip-fluting spalls 


1 


2 




3 


(5.5) 


Microblades 


20 


16 




36 


(65.5) 


Utilized flakes 




1 




1 


(1.8) 


Slate flakes 


1 






1 


(1.8) 


Nephrite flakes 




1 




1 


(1.8) 


Soapstone vessels 


2 


1 




3 


(5.5) 


TOTAL 


31 


23 


1 


55 





endblade preforms to the eastern flank and soap- 
stone vessels to the axial feature. A division between 
front (north), back (south) and middle subareas in 
Table 46 indicates that the only clear difference is 
the presence of all endblades and endblade preforms 
in the front subarea. In neither case are there indica- 
tions of gender-based activity variation. 



/(-means cluster analysis was used for a model 
independent analysis of the point plotted tools; a five 
cluster solution seemed most reasonable (Figure 
129). Two of the clusters (1 and 3) have centroids 
closely associated with the hearths at opposite ends 
of the axial feature in what might be termed hearth- 
tending positions. Cluster 2 lies slightly back from 



194 



CHAPTER 1 



Table 47. Nukasusutok-1 2: Structure 2 Tool Classes by K-Means Cluster. 





C-1 


C-2 


C-3 


C-4 


C 5 


TOTAL 


Endblades 


3 






1 




4 


Endblade preforms 


2 






1 




3 


Side-notched bifaces 1 1 


Ramah chert bifaces 1 1 


Slate Bifaces 




1 








1 


Tip-fluting spalls 




1 






2 


3 


Microblades 


7 


12 


4 


8 


5 


36 


Utilized flakes 1 1 


Slate flakes 1 1 


Nephrite flakes 1 1 


Soapstone vessels 


1 




1 




1 


3 


TOTAL 


14 


1 5 


8 


10 


8 


55 



7x10y 



lOxlOy 



5x9y 




Sx4y 



RCW8_ 



S=1 







GM= 2 



RC= 3 



RC= 18 
CR= 1 



_ o 



RC=4 
Q= 1 
N= 1 



^0 



12x8y 



CR Crystal quartz 

GM Green Mugford chert 

N Nephrite 

O Quartz 

RC Ramah chert 

S Slate 



9x4y 



1 30/ Nukasusutok-1 2: Structure 2 flake distribution. 

the northernmost hearth, but seems positioned in 
relation to that feature. Clusters 3 and 4 lie in similar 
positions on opposite sides of the middle of the axial 
feature where there was uncertain evidence for a 
third hearth. Each of these clusters is located equidis- 
tant from, and thus equally accessible to, the hearths 



at the ends of the axial align- 
ment. From a different per- 
spective, clusters 3 and 4 could 
be arm's length discard areas 
associated with the hearth- 
tending positions at each end 
of the axial alignment. Overall, 
there is a hint of behavioral 
symmetry at the two hearths. 

The tool associations for 
each cluster are compared in 
Table 47. Given the low fre- 
quencies in each cell the distri- 
bution is difficult to evaluate, 
but there is a slight over-repre- 
sentation of microblades in 
cluster 2, adjacent to the north- 
ern hearth. Inspection of individual tool type distribu- 
tions provides little to supplement the foregoing 
observations other than revealing a tendency for end- 
blades and endblade preforms to be located towards 
the south and tip-fluting spalls towards the north. In 
other words, deposition of the preforms and finished 



NUKASUSUTOK-1 2 EARLY/IVIIDDLE DORSET AXIAL STRUCTURES 



195 



tools is not associated witln deposition of the by-prod- 
ucts of tine manufacturing process. Tlie refits of a tip- 
fluting spall and a soapstone vessel are spatially prox- 
imate, providing little information on material move- 
ments at Structure 2. 

In contrast to the relatively large tool assemblage, 
only 55 flakes were found, almost exclusively small 
secondary retouch flakes of Ramah chert. Their distri- 
bution by 1 m^ units is displayed in Figure 1 30 (some 
flakes are missing because of uncertain provenience). 
The majority of flakes are distributed outside the axial 
feature, but within a 1 m distance from it. Their con- 
centrations correspond well with the clusters identified 
in the tool analysis. 

Tool and flake raw materials are outlined by fre- 
quency in Table 48 and by weight in Table 49. By fre- 
quency, Ramah chert dominates both tools and flakes. 
The weight figures for tools are distorted by soap- 
stone, but if the latter Is excluded then Ramah chert 
constitutes 86% of the flaked tool materials. The 
weight figures for flakes are misleading; what seems to 
be a dominance of quartz is mostly the result of a sin- 
gle quartz nodule that is heavier than the 48 small 
Ramah chert flakes. The single flake of white chert is 
fossiliferous with a carbonate cortex and is not from 
the Newfoundland west coast. It appears to be of 
northern Quebec or Eastern Arctic origin. 



Table 48. Nukasusutok-1 2: Structure 2 
Tool and Flake Raw Material Frequencies. 





Tools N (%) 


Flakes N (%) 


Ramah chert 


65 (87.8) 


48 (87.3) 


Gray Mugford chert 




1 (1.8) 


Crystal quartz 


5 (6.8) 


1 (1.8) 


Quartz 




2 (3.6) 


Slate 


1 (1.4) 


1 (1.8) 


White chert 




1 (1.8) 


Nephrite 




1 (1.8) 


Soapstone 


3 (4.1) 





Table 49. Nukasusutok-1 2: Structure 2 Tool 
and Flake Raw Material Weights. In Crams. 





Tools g(%) 


Flakes g (%> 


TOTAL g (%) 


Ramah chert 


107.9 (23.2) 


9.9 (34.1) 


1 17.8 (23.8) 


Gray Mugford chert 


0.1 (0.3) 


0.1 (0.0) 


Crystal quartz 


2.9 (0.6) 


0.03 (0.1) 


2.93 (0.6) 


Quartz 




14.0 (48.2) 


14.0 (2.8) 


Slate 


14.6 (3.1) 


0.5 (1.7) 


15.1 (3.1) 


White chert 




n.a. 




Nephrite 




4.5 (1 5.5) 


4.5 (0.9) 


Soapstone 


340.0 (73.1) 




340.0 (68.8) 



Tool Assemblage 

Endblades All but one of the four Ramah chert end- 
blades are fragments. The single complete specimen 
(Figure 131:c) is small (L=19.6 mm, W= 14.2, TH= 2.9) 
with a very slight basal concavity and tiny tip-fluting 
spalls (L= 2.5, 3.5 mm) on the dorsal surface. A proxi- 
mal fragment (Figure 1 31 :d) is only slightly larger, with 
a straight base (W = 1 7.1 mm, TH = 3.1 ). The other two 
specimens are distal fragments of larger endblades (L 
= >28, >35 mm). One (Figure 1 31 :e) has two tip-fluting 
spalls (L = 14.0, 16.0 mm) on its dorsal surface while 
the other broke during removal of the first spall. 

Endblade Preforms The three preforms are made 
of Ramah chert. One is complete, triangular and 
straight-based (Figure 131:a), with fine retouch on its 
ventral side and large flake scars on its dorsal side 
(L = 35.5 mm, W = 24.9, TH = 5.5). The blunt tip was 
retouched ventrally to form a platform from which two 
tip-fluting spalls were removed dorsally (L = 1 6.8, 1 9.0 
mm). The other two preforms are distal fragments. 
One (Figure 1 31 :b) has a distal platform from which a 
single flute was removed down the center of the dor- 
sal side (L= 26.8 mm), probably a production failure, 
while the other (Figure 1 31 :f) has a convex distal end 
with faint retouch for platform preparation. 

Side-notched bifaces: The single example (Figure 
131:h) is the proximal fragment of a Ramah chert 
biface with broad side-notches positioned towards the 



196 



CHAPTER 10 




1 31 / Nukasusutok-1 2: implements from Structure 2. 
a, b, f: endblade preforms: c-e: endblades, g: biface blank; 
h: side-notched biface: i: ground slate biface: j-o: micro- 
blades. 



medial portion of the tool such that the implement 
resembles a "box-based" biface. The basal edge is bifa- 
cially flaked and convex in form. There is slight grind- 
ing on the base as well as in one of the notches (W= 
24.7 mm, TH= 5.7, notch HT= 12.0, 14.6, notch L= 
7.1 , 7.5, notch W= 2.2, 2.0). 

Slate Bifaces: The distal fragment of a black slate 
biface is either the tip of a lance or a large knife (Figure 
1 31 :i). Each face of the tool has a flat medial surface, 
but only one face is polished. The lateral edges are 
bevelled for a width of 6-9 mm on each face, but there 
is also fine secondary bevelling ca. 0.7 mm wide 
extending along the immediate working edge. 

Bifaces: All five of the bifaces are made of Ramah 
chert. One (Figure 131:g) is a complete asymmetric 
blank (L= 82.0 mm, W= 42.6, TH= 16.4). Two are dis- 
tal fragments, of which one convex-tipped implement 
might be an endblade preform while the other might 



be a tip-fluted endblade fragment. The remaining two 
specimens are lateral and proximal fragments. 

Tip-fluting spalls: All five tip-fluting spalls are 
made of Ramah chert and all are primary removal 
spalls. Three of them could be considered relatively 
large (>25 mm in length). Metrics for the three com- 
plete specimens: L= 16. 4, 27.1, 27.5 mm, W= 15. 6, 
1 1 .2, 9.3, TH = 1 .3, 3.1 , 1 .8. 

Microblades: The raw materials of the 49 microb- 
lades (MNI = 24, based on proximal ends) are over- 
whelmingly Ramah chert (n = 44, 89.8%), with five 
examples made of crystal quartz (1 0.2%). Retouched or 
utilized microblades constitute 40.4% of the total. Of 
these, only three items exhibit traces of hafting: one 
crystal quartz specimen has bilateral notching (Figure 
128:o), while another has a constricted stem, and one 
Ramah chert implement has a bilateral constriction. 
Two microblades may have been the result of core- 
trimming. Using only proximal portions and specimens 
from which reliable measurements could be taken 
(n=l 5), the average width of the Ramah chert microb- 
lades was 1 2.3 mm. Platform angles were measured to 
the nearest 5", resulting in a range from 75-90 (n=23), 
with a distribution across the four angle classes as fol- 
lows: 75 = 4 (1 7.4%), 80 = 1 2 (52.2%), 85 = 1 (4.3%), 
90" = 5 (26.1%). Of the 22 proximal specimens upon 
which platform preparation technique could be identi- 
fied, 17 (77.3%) had plain platforms, four (18.2%) 
retouched platforms, and one (4.5%) had a crushed 
platform. 

The size of microblade fragments may be the 
result of random breakage patterns, but in some 
cases microblades might have been snapped deliber- 
ately for use in particular tasks. For the Ramah chert 
specimens, length measurements of proximal frag- 
ments (n=22) cluster into two groups, ca. 1116 mm 
and 21-31 mm, while the medial fragments (n=l 3) 
exhibit a marked clustering between 14-20 mm. The 
distal fragments are relatively few (n=7) and exhibit a 
wide range of values. These groupings may simply 
result from the mechanics of tool breakage, but they 



NUKASUSUTOK 12 EARLY/MIDDLE DORSET AXIAL STRUCTURES 



197 



seem consistent enough that deliberate action should 
also be considered. 

Utilized flakes: The two examples are both made 
of Ramah chert. 

Soapstone vessels: Three vessels were identified 
from a total of 5 sherds. One vessel is '/< complete 
(Figure 1 32), shallow (depth= 31 .5 mm), with one long 
side slightly curved and the other markedly bowed out 
so as to produce an asymmetric form with a length 
over 103 mm and a width ca. 66 mm. Wall thickness 
varies from 2.7 mm at the rim to 7.1 mm near the 
base. The rim is flattened with slightly rounded edges. 
The interior bottom exhibits striations and gouge 
marks indicative of an attempt to thin the vessel, a 
process that produced a small hole in one corner of the 
vessel bottom. The vessel weighs 71 g. A second ves- 
sel (Figure 133:a) is represented by a wall fragment 
with a small rim portion (TH= 3.1-5.7 mm). The third 
specimen is a wall sherd (TH= 3.3-5.7 mm) from a fair- 
ly deep vessel (>70 mm) featuring a flattened rim with 
round edges and an encrustation of burned fat on both 
the mner and outer surfaces (Figure 1 33:b). 

Discussion 

Structure-2 is a double or perhaps triple-hearth 
axial feature. The distribution of lithic material and 
rocks indicate the feature was associated with a rela- 
tively large tent (ca. 5m long by 5-5 m wide). The lith- 
ic materials were concentrated within 1 .0-1 .5 m of the 
axial feature, suggesting sleeping areas further out 
towards the tent walls. Cluster analysis of the tools 
suggests a degree of behavioral symmetry in the use 
of space at each end of the axial feature, with hearth- 
related activities or deposition, although most of the 
lithics occur on the west side of the feature. A slight 
front/back distinction noted in the clustering of all 
endblades and endblade preforms at the front (north 
end) of the axial feature is the only hint of spatial dif- 
ferentiation by gender, if one invokes the stereotype of 
male association with harpoon technology. This weak 
inference need not contradict the possibility that the 




1 32/ Nukasusutok-1 2: soapstone vessel from Structure 2. 




133/ Nukasusutok-1 2: soapstone vessel fragments from 
Structure 2. 



behavioral symmetry between the hearths, in combina- 
tion with the assumed size of the dwelling, might indi- 
cate the presence of two domestic units within the 
structure. 

Seen in terms of what did and did not "fall out" of 
the technological organization system, the tool and 
debitage samples suggest a relatively short duration of 
occupation and a limited range of activities. Most 
prominent among what fell out of the system were: (1 ) 
a substantial rate of microblade production and (2) a 
modest deposition of endblades, endblade preforms 
and tip-fluting spalls. The former may be related to 
various expedient tasks while the latter indicates 



198 



CHAPTER 1 




a b c 




1 34/ Nukasusutok-1 2 implements from Structures 3 
and 4. a: side-notched biface, Structure 3, b: endblade, 
Structure 3; c: burin-like-tool preform, Structure 3; 
d, e: side-notched bifaces, Structure 4, f: endblade 
preform, Structure 4; g: microblade, Structure 4. 



preparation for and/or implementation of sea mammal 
hunting activities. What did not fall out of the system 
were flakes and domestic processing tools. The small 
quantity of Ramah chert debitage and its near-exclu- 
sive secondary retouch flake character suggests limit- 
ed modification of curated implements such as the 
endblade preforms and the biface blank. The scarcity 
or absence of domestic processing tools such as bifa- 
cial knives, scrapers and burin-like tools indicates that 
either activities associated with these implements were 
not undertaken or that such items were less likely to 
enter into the archaeological record at this locality. 

STRUCTURE 3 

A 1 m^ test pit 25 m south of Structure 1 (Figure 1 24) 
revealed the probable remains of a third axial feature 
consisting of cobbles and flat slabs. The test pit and 
later surface collection in the area produced nine tools: 



a tip-fluted endblade, a tip-fluting spall, a side-notched 
biface, a burin-like tool preform and four microblades. 
A total of 17 flakes was collected, of which 15 were 
Ramah chert, one crystal quartz and one schist. 

The Ramah chert endblade (Figure 1 34:b) is com- 
plete, with a fairly straight base and some medial basal 
thinning (L= 42.7 mm, W= 1 8.2, TH= 5.6). The tip-flut- 
ing was placed dorsally and the scars are relatively 
short (L= 13.0, 16.5 mm). The single side-notched 
biface of Ramah chert (Figure 134:a) is also complete 
and displays a slightly asymmetric blade, a biconvex 
cross-section, a straight bifacially thinned base and 
slight edge grinding above one of the notches (L= 57.6 
mm, W= 30.5, TH= 5.8, notch HT= 9.2, 9.0, notch L= 
5.4, 6.6, notch W= 2.2, 2.1). 

The burin-like tool preform (Figure 1 34:c) is com- 
plete and made on a long flake of nephrite. One later- 
al edge has a bifacially flaked wide notch or stem while 
the opposite edge bears a slight trace of a notch 
formed by dorsal retouch. The implement has a slight 
basal concavity and it is unground (L= 48.5 mm, W= 
1 9.8, TH= 5.8, notch L= 1 3.4, notch W= 1 .9). 

All four microblades are made of Ramah chert; 
two are retouched distal fragments while the other two 
are uncertain proximal fragments. 

STRUCTURE 4 

Ten meters north of Structure 1 , adjacent to a rock-fall 
beside the north hill-face, a 1.5 by 1.0 m test pit 
revealed part of a fourth axial feature (Figure 124). 
Several thick flat-topped rocks and a flat slab were 
associated with burned sand, charcoal, red ocher 
patches and a considerable quantity of Ramah chert 
debitage, some of which was thermally altered. Tools 
recovered from the test unit Include two side-notched 
biface bases, one primary tip-fluting spall, one tip-flut- 
ed endblade preform, three microblades and two uti- 
lized flakes. The debitage collection consists of 253 
unaltered Ramah chert flakes (78.3 g by weight), 77 
thermally altered Ramah chert flakes (29.5 g), one 
quartz flake (0.6 g), and one schist flake (0.4 g). 



NUKASUSUTOK-l 2: EARLY/MIDDLE DORSET AXIAL STRUCTURES 



199 



Table 50. Nukasusutok-1 2: Test Pits 1-3 Tool Class Frequencies. 





TPl 


TP2 


TP3 


Surface 


TOTAL 


Triangular endblades 


1 




z 




3 (4.3) 


Side-notched bifaces 






-> 


1 


4 (5.8) 


Bifaces 


1 




1 




2 (2.9) 


Burin-like tools 






1 




1 (1 .4) 


Tip-fluting spalls 


1 


z 


o 
O 


1 


12(1 7.4) 


Microblades, unutilized 


I 


7 


zU 




29 (42.0) 


Microblades, utilized 


i. 


1 


-7 
/ 




1 (1 4.5) 


Microblade cores 




1 
1 






1 (1 .4) 


Utilized flakes 




1 


2 




3 (4.3) 


Ground schist flakes 






2 




2 (2.9) 


Ground nephrite flakes 




2 






2 (2.9) 


TOTAL 


7 


14 


46 


2 


69 



Both the side-notched biface bases are made of 
Ramah chert. One (Figure 1 34;d) has a single pair of 
wide notches and a slightly concave base (W= 30.4 
mm, TH= 8.2, basal depth= 3.0, notch HT= 6.0, notch 
L= 13.1, notch W= 3.0). The other (Figure 1 34:e) has 
two pairs of notches and a straight base (edge A notch 
HT= 6.0, 1 4.6 mm, edge B notch HT= 5.9, 13.1, edge 
A notch L= 2.9, 4.2, edge B notch L= 3.6, edge A notch 
W= 1 .6, 1 .8, edge B notch W= 1 .6) 

The endblade preform (Figure 1 34:f) is made on a 
flake of thermally altered Ramah chert and appears to be 
a production failure (L= 55.3 mm, W= 22.9, TH= 5.8). It 
retains a striking platform proximally, has bifacial 
retouch limited to its margins and a single ventral tip- 
flute that encompasses the entire tip of the implement 
and terminates in a step fracture. The margins of the flut- 
ing scar were retouched slightly subsequent to spalling. 

All three microblades are made of Ramah chert 
and are medial fragments. One is retouched. A large 
specimen is illustrated in Figure 1 34:g. The two uti- 
lized flakes are both made of Ramah chert. 

Two radiocarbon dates were run from a sample of 
conifer charcoal associated with the structural rocks. 
The first assay produced a date of 930±64 B.P. (Sl- 



5536). Since this result indicated a Late Dorset dating, 
which seemed inconsistent with the tool collection, 
the sample was resubmitted and subjected to nitra- 
tion pre-treatment to remove uncharred cellulose. The 
second date was 1110±80 B.P. (SI-5822), marginally 
older than the first and equally inconsistent with the 
tool collection. 

TEST PITS 1 3 

Seven meters south of Structure 3 was a vegetated 
area that was probed with three 1 m^ test pits (Figure 
1 24). Test Pits 2 and 3 adjoined each other while Test 
Pit 1 lay 1 m to the northwest. Test Pits 2 and 3 pro- 
duced a surprisingly dense concentration of Ramah 
chert debitage and tools in a matrix of brown sand and 
cobbles superimposed on a soft clay deposit lying 1 5 
cm below ground surface. No features could be dis- 
cerned in the morass of cobbles and clay. The area 
might have contained a midden or structure that was 
badly disturbed by severe clay movement. Table 50 
provides an overview of tool frequencies, distributed 
across the three test pits. 

The tool collection from these test units is 
marked by a large number of microblades (56.5%) and 



200 



CHAPTER 10 



contains a microblade core fragment. Altliough trian- 
gular endblades are only modestly represented, a fair- 
ly large number of tip-fluting spalls are present, 
including eight primary removal spalls. The latter 
might indicate a focus on endblade production from 
curated preforms. Tool and flake raw materials are 
summarized by frequency in Table 51 and by weight 
in Table 52. Both tool and flake materials are dominat- 
ed by Ramah chert. 

Table 51. Nukasusutok-1 2: Test Pits 13 Tool 
and Flake Raw Materials by Frequency. 



Tools N (%) Flakes N (%) 



Ramah chert 62 (89.9) 


21 1 (87.2) 


Crystal quartz 1 (1 .4) 


1 (0.4) 


Cray Mugford chert 


1 (0.4) 


Creen chert 1 (1 .4) 


Nephrite 3 (4.3) 


2 (0.8) 


Schist 2 (2.9) 


27(11.2) 


Table 52. Nukasusutok 1 2: Test Pits 13 Tool 
and Flake Raw Materials by Weight. In Grams. 


Tools g (%) Flakes g ( %) 


TOTAL g(%) 


Ramah chert 128.5(91.3) 107.3(76.0) 


235.8 (83.7) 


Cp/stal quartz 0.6 (0.4) 0.5 (0.4) 


1.1 (0.4) 


Cray Mugford chert 1.7(1.2) 


1.7 (0.6) 


Green chert 2.8 (2.0) 


2.8 (1.0) 


Nephrite 6.8(4.8) 11.7(8.3) 


18.5 (6.6) 


Schist 2.0(1.4) 19.9(14.1) 


21.9 (7.8) 



Tool Assemblage 

Endblades: All three triangular endblades are made of 
Ramah chert. A complete tip-fluted specimen (Figure 
136:a) has a slightly concave base and appears to be 
fluted on its dorsal side (L= 21.1 mm, W= 14.6, TH= 
3.2, basal depth= 1.0, tip-fluting L= 10.6, 14.0). A 
proximal fragment (Figure 136:b) is bifacially flaked 
with a slightly asymmetrical concave base; it is impos- 
sible to determine if it was tip-fluted (W= 13.1 mm, 




3 5 



135/ Nukasusutok-1 2 implements from test pits, surface 
and Structure 1 . a: biface, TP- 1 . b: endblade, TP- 1 , c: 
endblade preform, TP-4, d-e: utilized flakes, TP-4, f: 
ground slate point/knife base, surface; g: microblade, 
surface; h) microblade. Structure I . 

TH= 2.8, basal depth= 1.0). Another proximal frag- 
ment (Figure 1 35:b) is bifacially flaked (completely on 
the dorsal side, marginally on the ventral side) and has 
a straight to slightly convex base with slight basal thin- 
ning (W= 22.9 mm, TH= 3.5). 

Tip-fluting spalls; All of the 12 tip-fluting spalls 
are made of Ramah chert. The seven whole or near 
complete specimens range in length from 12.3-36.4 
mm and two size groups are represented: 12.3-13.6 
mm and 21.5-36.4 mm. Four of the five fragmentary 
specimens clearly fall into the larger size class. These 
large and small classes may indicate the tip-fluting of 
different sizes of preforms or endblades (cf., Plumet 
and Lebel 1 998). None of the intact finished endblades 



NUKASUSUTOK 1 2 EARLY/MIDDLE DORSET AXIAL STRUCTURES 



201 




a b c d 




1 36/ Nukasusutok-1 2: implements from test pits, 
a, b: endblades, TP-3; c-e: side-notched bifaces, 
TP-3; f: burin-like-tool, TP-3: g: ground schist, TP-3; 
h: microblade core fragment, TP-2; i-l: microblades, 
all TP-3. 

from Nukasusutok-1 2 exhibit tip-flutes with a length 
corresponding to the larger group, although one pre- 
form from Structure 2 does. Eight of the spalls are pri- 
mary, four are secondary. 

Side-notched bifaces All four bifaces are proximal 
fragments and all exhibit a single set of notches. 
Three of the four are made from Ramah chert while the 
fourth is made from a green chert (either Mugford or 
Newfoundland). One of the Ramah chert implements 
(Figure 1 36:c) is from a fairly large biface and displays 
wide side-notches and a slightly concave bifacially 
thinned base (W = 33.4 mm, TH = 6.9, notch HT = 5.3, 
9.5, notch L = 13.0, 12.6, notch W = 3.0, 3.0, basal 



depth = 2.0). A second Ramah chert example (Figure 
136:e) lacks one basal corner and has a biconvex 
cross-section and a slightly concave base with basal 
thinning (W = 20.3 mm, TH = 4.4, notch HT = 7.3, 
notch L = 5.4, notch W = 1.2). The third Ramah chert 
specimen was missing when the collection was re- 
analysed in the early 1990s but it is illustrated else- 
where (Hood 1 986:Figure 5:1). The implement is small- 
er and narrower than the other bifaces and exhibits 
predominantly unifacial dorsal retouch and a straight 
base (base W = 1 3.8 mm, TH = 2.8, notch HT = 3.2, 
3.4). It roughly resembles a Croswater "box-based" 
endblade, although it has a bifacially thinned base in 
contrast to the abrupt unifacially retouched bases of 
the latter. The green chert specimen (Figure 1 36:d) has 
a straight bifacially thinned base (base W = 30.0 mm, 
TH = 6.2, notch HT = 5.4, 5.1). 

Bifaces Both examples are made of Ramah chert. 
One is the distal portion of a large implement over 78 
mm long and at least 37 mm wide, presumably a large 
knife or lance point (Figure 1 35:a). The other is a small 
distal fragment. 

Burin-like tools: The single specimen of nephrite 
is complete but for a portion of its proximal end 
(Figure 1 36:f). Polishing traces on the proximal edges 
suggest a bilateral slightly constricted stem with a 
unilateral notch just below the bevelled portion of one 
lateral edge. The distal end is straight and symmetri- 
cally bevelled to a cutting edge. The distal lateral 
edges are ground flat and the dorsal and ventral sur- 
faces are flat and fully ground and polished (L = > 
29.0 mm, W max = 16.3, W distal = 12.7, TH = 4.3, 
notch HT = > 16.0). 

Microblades: All but one of the 39 microblades 
are made of Ramah chert; the single exception is crys- 
tal quartz (a few examples are illustrated in Figure 
1 36:i-l). All specimens are fragmentary: 1 8 proximal, 
1 5 medial and six distal. Traces of utilization or 
retouch are found on 10 (25.6%). An MNI count of 17 
can be formulated for the non-utilized specimens and 
an MNI of two for the utilized implements. One of the 



202 



CHAPTER 1 



utilized specimens has proximal retouch (unilateral 
constriction) that may indicate hafting. In another 
case, a medial fragment has bifacial retouch on one of 
its snap surfaces that could indicate preliminary 
retouch for a projectile base. Additionally, a distal 
fragment is completely retouched on its ventral sur- 
face, which may also indicate an intended use as a 
projectile. The average width of 1 5 proximal frag- 
ments is 12.5 mm. 

Platform preparation is primarily plain (n= 6) or 
retouched (n= 5), while one example each occurs for 
grinding, crushing and indeterminate. Platform angles 
were distributed as follows; 60° = 1 , 65° = 3, 70' = 1 , 
75° = 2, 80° = 5, 85 = 1 and 90° =1 . A major propor- 
tion of the proximal fragments (1 of 1 7) have lengths 
in the range of ca. 13-28 mm; the medial fragment 
lengths exhibit greater spread, but eight of 1 7 range 
between ca. 1 2-25 mm. This is broadly consistent with 
the pattern observed at Structure 2. 

Microblade cores: The single Ramah chert 
microblade core (Figure 136:h) is a core-face frag- 
ment that bears negative scars of five long (ca. 75 
mm) microblades. Three of these microblades were 
struck from a core platform that was broken off when 
the core face was detached. This detachment 
occurred when the core was turned over and struck 
on a flat basal surface used as a platform for the 
attempted removal of microblades from the opposite 
direction. Secondary retouch on the edges of the core 
fragment suggest it may have been re-used as an 
expedient scraper. 

Utilized flakes: All three specimens are made on 
large (52-62 mm diameter) flakes of Ramah chert. In 
one case virtually all edges of the flake exhibit fine 
utilization retouch combined with blunting of 
exposed facets; the implement may be an expedient 
scraper. 

Ground schist flakes: The two specimens are both 
small (ca. 17 and 28 mm long); one is illustrated in 
Figure 1 36:g. Schist was likely used to grind nephrite 
burin-like tools and perhaps slate implements. 



Ground nephrite flakes: Two of the three flakes 
are small (L= 1 5.0, 24.6 mm) with limited areas of dis- 
tinct grinding. A third specimen is a larger linear flake 
(L= 72.9 mm) with faint traces of polishing on its 
facets but no obvious grinding. 

Discussion 

These three test pits provide little indication as to the 
function of this part of the site. Any features once 
present were obliterated by fluctuating movements of 
the underlying clay deposit. Nonetheless, the large 
quantity of tools and flakes recovered from these units 
suggests the presence of a dwelling structure or mid- 
den. The most striking aspect of the assemblage is the 
high frequency of microblades and tip-fluting spalls. 
The former suggest a high rate of expedient tool pro- 
duction while the latter suggest an emphasis on end- 
blade production— a "gearing-up" for hunting. The 
lack of scrapers is notable. 

TEST PITS 4 AND 5 

Two other 1 m^ test pits were excavated within in situ 
deposits 1 m east of Structure 1 . Test Pit 5 was ster- 
ile but the central portion of Test Pit 4 contained part 
of a shallow depression, measuring 45 by 60 cm, 
which contained red ocher stains and charcoal. A small 
notched schist slab with adhering burned fat was 
recovered from the deposit. A second small charcoal 
patch lay beside the north wall of the test unit. 
Charcoal from the central depression was submitted 
for radiocarbon dating. A first run produced a date of 
1 000±75 B.P. (SI-5535), which seemed much too late in 
relation to the tool material from the site. The sample 
was re-run following nitration pre-treatment, resulting 
in a date of 1 660±90 B.P. (SI-5821). 

Test Pit 4 produced 10 tools, all of Ramah chert; 
an endblade preform, a tip-fluting spall, six microb- 
lades, and two utilized flakes. The endblade preform 
(Figure 135:c) is made on a crudely retouched Ramah 
chert flake and is only retouched marginally— bifacial- 
ly at the tip, mostly dorsally on the lateral edges— 



NUKASUSUTOK-1 2: EARLY/MIDDLE DORSET AXIAL STRUCTURES 



203 



while the base is thinned dorsally from a snap edge (L= 
36.4 mm, W= 19.3, TH= 4.0). The tip-fluting spall is a 
large medial fragment (L >30.0 mm) of a primary spall. 
The six microblades are comprised of four medial and 
two proximal fragments. Two medial fragments are 
completely retouched on their ventral surfaces, possi- 
bly for use as projectiles. One of the utilized flakes has 
unifacial dorsal retouch along all its margins and a 
slight stem at one end (Figure 135:e), while the other 
has unifacial dorsal retouch along two lateral edges 
(Figure 135:d). A total of 50 flakes was collected, of 
which 47 (94.0%) were of Ramah chert, one (2.0%) of 
crystal quartz, one (2.0%) of black chert, and one 
(2.0%) of nephrite. 

SURFACE COLLECTIONS 

Two implements not directly associated with struc- 
tures were surface collected. A complete retouched 
microblade (L= 47.9 mm, W= 13.1, TH= 3.7) lay 3 m 
west of the 1 xl y marker at Structure 1 (Figure 1 35:g). 
The proximal portion of a ground slate point or knife 
(Figure 1 35:f) was found 6 m south of the 5x5y mark- 
er at Structure 2. The tool is made of green slate and 
has a constricted stem formed by a pair of wide side- 
notches. The base is straight with narrow, symmetri- 
cally ground bevelling. Above each notch is a slight 
trace of edge bevelling with surfaces running in slight- 
ly different directions. The medial faces of the imple- 
ment are largely unground (TH= 4.9 mm, notch HT= 
4.5, 3.5, notch L= 14.2, 1 5.5, notch W= 3.5, 2.5). 

OVERALL ASSEMBLAGE 
CHARACTERISTICS AND 
TECHNOLOGICAL ORGANIZATION 

Consideration of technological organization at 
Nukasusutok-1 2 is complicated by rather divergent 
tool and debitage sample sizes and differences in the 
representativeness of the samples. 

As far as tools are concerned, only Structure 2 and 
Test Pits 1-3 have sufficient numbers to work with. 
Although Structure 2 has very little debitage, the com- 



plete excavation of the feature constitutes a fairly rep- 
resentative sample. The material from Test Pits 1-3 has 
a reasonable number of tools and flakes, but is a lim- 
ited area sample from an uncertain context. The test 
unit at Structure 4 produced a few tools and a modest 
debitage collection, but the sample cannot be consid- 
ered representative. Given these limitations the discus- 
sion can only hope to point out some tentative dimen- 
sions of technological organization at the site. 

The most striking characteristic of the 
Nukasusutok-1 2 assemblage is the absence of pro- 
cessing tools common in other Dorset sites: endscrap- 
ers and sidescrapers. This absence implies that either 
the activities in which these tools were used (skin 
scraping and wood working) were not conducted at the 
site or that the implements were highly curated as part 
of a hafted tool kit. Instead, microblades are the pre- 
dominant implement type, suggesting a high frequen- 
cy of production for use in expedient tasks. The pro- 
portion of microblades with traces of utilization varies 
from 25% at Test Pits 1-3 to 40% at Structure 2. 
Structure 2 had a modest number of endblades, end- 
blade preforms and tip-fluting spalls, while Test Pits 1- 

3 had a substantial number of tip-fluting spalls, includ- 
ing several primary removal spalls (but no endblade 
preforms). In both cases a focus on endblade produc- 
tion is suggested. As far as the debitage is concerned, 
Structure 2 was notable for a very small amount of 
flakes (and thus a high toolTlake ratio), while Structure 

4 and Test Pits 1-3 had a relatively larger quantity of 
flakes suggestive of more emphasis on tool production 
and maintenance. 

Considered in isolation these observations are 
perhaps not that significant, but their relevance is 
clearer when placed in a comparative context with 
other Dorset lithic assemblages. The only available 
material for such a comparison is Nagle's (1 984, 1 986) 
analysis of Dorset Ramah chert use. Nagle concluded 
that distance-decay processes associated with "down- 
the-line" exchange from the Ramah chert sources had 
a significant effect on the nature of Dorset lithic 



204 



CHAPTER 10 



assemblages, particularly with regard to tool size and 
frequency. Preforms for bifaces and endblades are 
both smaller and less frequent with distance from the 
source areas and debitage also decreases in size and 
frequency. But frequency and size may also respond to 
other variables. Microblade production can generate 
either a few or many implements in a single production 
sequence, so the frequency of microblades may be 
more closely linked to the situational factors behind 
individual production events than to the raw material 
supply. The same could be said for the frequency of 
tip-fluting spalls. Size differences in endblades may 
have more to do with intended functions— such as seal 
versus walrus hunting— than with raw material avail- 
ability (Nagle 1986:98). 

One of the questions Nagle (1984:295, 315-316, 
434) addressed using Nain Middle Dorset material was 
whether winter semi-subterranean houses were "gear- 
ing-up" sites where tools were produced for use during 
other periods of the annual round while sites from 
other seasons were marked by strategies of tool main- 
tenance and conservation (i.e., curation behavior). He 
concluded that the evidence supported his general line 
of reasoning, but that inter-assemblage differences 
were not substantial: 

While sites occupied in the late fall and 
winter may have been the focus of the 
majority of flaked stone manufacturing 
activities in preparation for the ensuing 
year, it appears that for the most part 
Dorset knappers were routinely making 
many new tools throughout their entire 
seasonal round. Yearly lithic needs were 
evidently planned carefully, and sup- 
plies budgeted reasonably well (Nagle 
1 984:434). 

How does the material from Nukasusutok- 1 2 fit 
into this picture? Table 53 compares the tool assem- 
blages from Structure 2 and Test Pits 1-3 at 



Nukasusutok-1 2 with five of the Nain region Dorset 
assemblages analysed by Nagle (1 984:Appendix A). 
Koliktalik-1 (highlighted in the table) consists of two 
semi-subterranean winter houses (Cox 1978:107, 
110-111; Fitzhugh 1976:138-140; Nagle 1984:217- 
228; Spiess 1978), St. John's lsland-3, L-4, is an outer 
island mid-winter hunting camp containing a tent ring 
with an axial pavement (Nagle 1984:228-230; Spiess 
1 978:55), Black Island ! A has a possible tent struc- 
ture (Nagle 1984:230-232), and Dog Bight L-3 lacked 
a discernable structure but is assumed to be a tent 
site (Fitzhugh 1976:138; Nagle 1984:209-210). Dog 
Bight L-3 is Early Dorset, while the rest are Middle 
Dorset. The proportions of tool types at Nukasusutok- 
12 are most similar to Dog Bight L-3, with high per- 
centages of microblades and tip-fluting spalls, except 
that endscrapers and burin-like tools are better repre- 
sented at Dog Bight. The other two tent-dwelling sites 
have very different profiles. St John's lsland-3 has high 
proportions of endblades, endscrapers and burin-like 
tools, but relatively few microblades. This emphasis 
on sea mammal hunting and processing activities is 
consistent with the location of the site near the ice- 
edge and traces of walrus hunting in the small faunal 
assemblage (Spiess 1978:55). Black Island-IA is dom- 
inated by tip-fluting spalls, suggesting final-stage 
"gearing-up" for hunting. The variation in these tent 
dwelling assemblages probably reflects differences in 
the situational variables affecting lithic use in each 
case. In contrast, the winter house assemblages from 
Koliktalik are heavily loaded with processing/mainte- 
nance tools such as bifaces, endscrapers and burin- 
like tools. Given the frequency of endblade preform 
production at Koliktalik and their scarcity at all the 
tent dwelling sites, it seems likely there was a spatial 
staging in production, final retouch and use in a 
chaine operatoire marked by a high degree of cura- 
tion. But it should be kept in mind that there are sig- 
nificant formational differences between the tent and 
house assemblages, since the latter are accumulations 
resulting from multiple occupation phases ("coarse- 



NUKASUSUTOK 1 2 EARLY/MIDDLE DORSET AXIAL STRUCTURES 



205 



Table 53. Comparison of Main Region Dorset Lithic Assemblages. 
Semi-Subterranean Houses Highlighted in Gray. 



Nukasusutok-1 2 


Nukasusutok-1 2 


Dog Bight 


St. John's lsl.-3 


Black IsL-la 


Koliktalik-1 




Koiiktalik-1 




S-2 


TP 1-3 


L-3 


L-4 




H-1 




H-2 


Bifaces 


6 (8.7) 


D \y.o) 


11 '?\ 


1 U VO. 




334 \L£..Z>) 




1 7 tr ri 7\ 
1 / J 


Biface Preforms 


1 (1.4) 










1 \j \\J. 1 ) 






Endblades 


4 (5.8) 




11 ?\ 






^.Hj \ 1 D.^J 




or HA Q^ 


Endblade Preforms 


3 (4.3) 










-7A {A Q\ 




Z 1 (3./) 


Tip-Fluting Spalls 


6 (8.7) 


1 2 (1 9.7) 


45 (1 3.0) 


15 (12.7) 


33 (55.9) 


252 (16.8) 




43 (7.5) 


Endscrapers 






4 (1.2) 


1 1 (9.3) 


3 (5.1) 


66 (4.4) 




46 (8.1) 


Microblades 


49 (71 .0) 


39 (63.9) 


266 (76.7) 


41 (34.7) 


1 1 (18.6) 


419 (28.0) 




165 (28.9) 


Burin-Like Tools 




1 (1.6) 


8 (2.3) 


9 (7.6) 




98 (6.5) 




35 (6.1) 


TOTAL 


69 


61 


347 


118 


59 


1498 




570 



grained" assemblages in Binford's [1980:17] sense) 
and the former are probably the result of more dis- 
crete events ("fine-grained" assemblages). Organiza- 
tional dynamics are difficult to infer from coarse- 
grained assemblages. 

Another dimension of variability is debitage 
characteristics. Table 54 outlines the Ramah chert 
toohflake ratio for the Nain area sites (derived from 
Nagle 1984; Appendix A). Although the 
Nukasusutok test pits cannot be considered a repre- 
sentative sample, their ratio is consistent with the 
other Dorset sites, whether tent sites or the semi- 
subterranean houses at Koliktalik. Structure 2, on 
the other hand, stands out for its unusually high 
ratio of tools to flakes. Compared with the other 
localities. Structure 2 reflects an extremely low rate 
of lithic reduction combined with a high rate of tool 
discard. This ratio suggests little emphasis on tool 
replenishment or "gearing up" strategies, presum- 
ably related either to an anticipated ease of tool 
replacement or the absence of domestic processing 
and maintenance activities which might place high- 
er demands on raw material use. 



The organization of lithic reduction may also be 
reflected in flake size distributions and the frequency 
of biface-thinning flakes. Although the Nukasusutok- 
12 assemblages are not ideal for size analysis given 
small samples (Structure 2) and samples of uncertain 
representativeness (test pits), size distribution data 
for Structure 2 (completely excavated). Structure 4 
(test-pitted) and Test Pits 1-3 are presented in Figure 
137. Table 55 displays the frequency of biface-thin- 
ning flakes. Structure 2, which had only 48 Ramah 
chert flakes, is distinguished by a high proportion of 
flakes in the <1 5 mm and <1 mm categories and low 
frequencies in the <20 mm and larger categories, sug- 
gesting emphasis on late stage retouch rather than 
multi-stage reduction. The low frequency of biface- 
thinning flakes suggests limited reduction of pre- 
forms. Structure 4 and Test Pits 1-3 have slightly high- 
er percentages of flakes in the <20 to <30 mm range 
and both have relatively large numbers of biface-thin- 
ning flakes, indicating greater reduction of preforms 
than at Structure 2. Although the sampling problems 
need to be kept in mind, these data suggest spatial 
differences in reduction patterns at Nukasusutok-1 2. 



206 



CHAPTER 1 



Nukasusutok-12 Ramah Chert Flake Size 
Distribution 




-S2 \ 

-S4 

-TP1-3 



<5 



<10 <15 



<20 <25 <30 
5 mm classes 



<35 <40 <45 



13// Nukasusutok-1 2: Ramah chert flake size distribution. 



Table 54. Ramah Chert ToohFlake Ratios for Dorset Sites in the Nain Area 





Tools 


Flakes 


ToohFlake Ratio 


Nukasusutok-1 2 S-2 


63 


38 


1.66 


Nukasusutok-12 TPl-3 


62 


210 


0.3 


Dog Bight L-3 


339 


1021 


0.33 


St. John's lsland-3 L-4 


127 


669 


0.19 


Black Island 1 A 


51 


479 


0.1 1 


Koliktalik-1 H-1 


2536 


16281 


0.16 


Koliktalik-1 H-2 


1038 


7712 


0.1 3 



Table 55. Distribution of Biface-Thinning 
Flakes at Nukasusutok-12. 



Biface-Thinning Flakes 


Structure 2 


4 


Structure 4 


30 


Test Pits 1-3 


53 



The Ramah chert debitage size distribution has 
greater value when compared with other Dorset sites 
in the Nain region. Comparison necessitated re-sorting 
the Nukasusutok-12 debitage in accordance with the 



size category system used by 
Nagle (1984:261-262): category 
4 (>% < '/j inch), category 3 
(>'/: inch, < 1 inch), category 2 
(>1 inch, < 2 inches). Nagle 
eliminated a fifth category 
(<'/i inch) as unreliable, so the 
same was done for Nukasusu- 
tok-12. Four of the previously 
discussed Dorset components 
were used in the comparison; 
Koliktalik-1 houses 1 and 2, St. 
John's lsland-3, L-4, and Dog 
Bight L3 (data from Nagle 1 984: 
Appendix B). In the comparison 
by frequency (Figure 1 38), 
Structure 2 at Nukasusutok-12 
has a profile similar to all the 
other Dorset sites, being domi- 
nated by category 4 debitage 
(>% inch <'/j inch). In contrast, 
Structure 4 and Test Pits 1 -3 are 
distinctly different from all the 
other components in their high 
proportions of larger category 3 
flakes (>'/j inch, < 1 inch). When 
the proportions from the three 
Nukasusutok-12 components 
are averaged, the site has a 
deviant profile with a high proportion of class 3 flakes. 
In the comparison by weight (Figure 1 39), Structure 2's 
profile of balanced classes 4 and 3 most closely resem- 
bles Koliktalik House 2, while Structure 4 and Test Pits 
1-3's profiles with high class 3 proportions are most 
similar to St. John's Island. The averaged Nukasusutok 
profile is also very close to St. John's Island. Although 
the intra-site variation at Nukasusutok-12 should be 
kept in mind, it is interesting that its greatest similari- 
ties are with St. John's Island, since both sites are sea- 
sonal hunting camps associated with axial structures. 



NUKASUSUTOK-12: EARtY/MIDDLE DORSET AXIAL STRUCTURES 



207 



Ramah chert size distribution by frequency, 
Nagie categories and Nain Region Sites 



100 



90 - 
80 
70 
60 
% 50 
40 
30 
20 
10 




tL 



I 



□ Cat4 

□ Cats 
m Cat2 



S2 S4 TP1-3 KKH1 KKH2 DBL3 
Component/Site 



StJI N12av 



1 38/ Nain region Dorset site Ramah chert size distributions by frequency, using 
Nagle's (1984) categories. 



The preceding discussion positions Nukasusutok- 
12 relative to other Nain area Dorset assemblages, 
drawing out some general similarities and differ- 
ences, but it is confined by the vagaries of the 
Nukasusutok sample and by the limited comparative 
base. Nonetheless, the Nukasusutok- 1 2 assemblage 
might be characterized as representing a hunting 
camp marked by a high production of expedient 
microblades, the final stage reduction of harpoon 
endblades, as indicated by tip-fluting spalls and end- 
blade preforms, and the reduction of biface pre- 
forms, as implied by the biface-thinning flakes. The 
size/weight distribution of the Ramah chert debitage 
suggests that Nukasusutok-1 2 reduction patterns 
are most similar to another outer island hunting 



camp, St. John's lsland-3, L-4, 
although the tool assemblages 
of the two sites differ in that 
Nukasusutok-1 2 has a higher 
rate of microblade production 
but a lower rate of endblade 
discard. If, as Nagle (1 986:98) 
observed, variation in microb- 
lade frequency is conditioned 
by highly contingent individual 
production decisions, then it 
may be that the contrasts in 
endblade discard are the 
only significant differences 
between the sites. 

To conclude, partly follow- 
ing Nagle's (1984, 1986) obser- 
vations one might say the nature of any individual 
Dorset assemblage is a product of the articulation of 
three dimensions: (1) general constraints imposed by 
the structure of the Ramah chert delivery system on 
the form and quantity of raw materials circulating with- 
in different regions, (2) production decisions linked to 
specific situations, and (3) social and symbolic con- 
text. At this point we have a strong set of inferences 
concerning the first point, a good start on but still 
inadequate understanding of the second, and rather 
little penetration of the third. 

CHRONOLOGY 

Table 56 outlines the radiocarbon dates from Structure 
4 and Test Pit 4. As noted previously, the first run 



Table 56. Radiocarbon Dates from Nukasusutok-1 2. 



Location 


First Run 


Second Run 


Lab Nos. 


1 6 Calibration of Second Run 






(nitration pre-treatment) 




(OxCal 3.10) 


Structure 4 


930±64 B.P. 


1 1 10+80 B.P. 


SI-5536, 5822 


AD 780-1020 


Test Pit 4 


1000±75 B.P. 


1660±90 B.P. 


SI-5535, 5821 


AD 250-540 


(both samples of conifer charcoal) 



208 



CHAPTER 10 



70 
60 
50 
40 
30 
20 
10 




S2 



dates did not correspond with 
what was expected on the basis 
of tool typology (2200-2000 
B.P.), so the samples were run a 
second time with nitration pre- 
treatment to remove uncharred 
cellulose. Although this result- 
ed in a significantly earlier 
assay for the sample from Test 
Pit 4, the result for Structure 4 
was little different. Regrettably, 
neither of these samples was 
associated with clearly diagnos- 
tic tools. The material from 
Structure 4 included two side- 
notched bifaces (one with a sin- 
gle pair of notches, the other 

multiple notched), three microblades, a tip-fluted point 
preform, a tip-fluting spall, and a utilized flake. 
Typologically, the bifaces seem inconsistent with the 
1 1 10±80 B.P. Late Dorset dating. Test Pit 4 contained 
an endblade preform, a tip-fluting spall, a possible 
scraper fragment, six microblades (two of which were 
completely retouched on their ventral surfaces), a uti- 
lized flake and a schist fragment with adhering burned 
fat. The best that can be said is that this material is not 
inconsistent with a 1 660±90 B.P. Middle Dorset dating. 
Given the ambiguity of the radiocarbon dating the 
remainder of the chronological discussion must be 
based on typological comparisons. Since very little 
Labrador Dorset material has been reported in full, the 
discussion will be somewhat impressionistic. 

Typologically, Nukasusutok-1 2 appears to be inter- 
mediate between Early Dorset material such as Dog 
Bight L-3 from the Nain region, dated 2455±75 B.P. and 
2400±70 B.P. (Cox 1978:99, illustrated in Fitzhugh 
1976, Figure 12, m-s), and lluvektalik-1 from Okak Bay, 
dated 2845±60 B.P. on charcoal mixed with burned fat 
(Cox 1977:152-1 64, illustrated in Cox 1978:108), and 
Middle Dorset material from Koliktalik-1 in the Nain 
area (Cox 1 978:99; illustrated in Fitzhugh 1 976, Figure 



Ramah chert size distribution by weight, Nagle 
categories and Nain region sites 



£1 



eacat4 
Eacats 



S4 TP1-3 KKH1 KKH2 DBL3 
Component/Site 



St J I N12av 



1 39/ Nain region Dorset site Ramah chert size distributions by weight, using Nagle's 
(1984) categories. 



1 2 a-l, and Cox 1 978: 1 09). The Nukasustok-1 2 materi- 
al bears some resemblance to the few tools illustrated 
from Avayalik-7 in northernmost Labrador, originally 
believed to date to the Early/Middle Dorset boundary, 
ca. 2200-1800 B.P. (R. Jordan 1980:609-610), but 
which produced a later than expected date of 1 395±70 
B.P. (Morlan 2001-2005). 

Several Nukasustok-1 2 assemblage attributes 
reflect this Early/Middle Dorset character. First, there 
is a high frequency of microblades, which is regarded 
as typical of Early Dorset sites (Cox 1978:107). In a 
correspondence analysis (not shown here) of Labrador 
Dorset assemblages based on data from Nagle (1984; 
Appendix A), Nukasusutok-1 2 was grouped together 
with all the Early Dorset sites on the basis of their 
shared high frequency of microblades. As observed 
above, however, microblade production was probably 
situationally conditioned such that one should be wary 
of using it as a chrono-typological indicator. Second, 
the triangular endblades are straight-based or only 
slightly concave and four of them (from Structure 2, 
Structure 3 and Test Pits 1 -3) appear to be tip-fluted on 
their dorsal surfaces, as are two endblade preforms 
(Structure 2). Dorsal tip-fluting is thought to be an 



NUKASUSUTOK-1 2: EARLY/MIDDLE DORSET AXIAL STRUCTURES 



209 



early Dorset trait. There is no trace of unifacial end- 
blades or basal thinning on the dorsal surface of end- 
blades as found in IVliddle Dorset (Cox 1978:107). 
Third, a high side-notched or quasi "box-based" biface 
(Figure 131:h) from Structure 2 and a small unifacial 
notched biface resembling Croswater style (Hood 
1 986:Figure 5:1) from Test Pits 1 -3 have an Early Dorset 
stamp, although the latter may simply be an expedient 
tool (cf., Nagle 1 984:347-348). Fourth, a burin-like tool 
preform from Structure 3 that was destined to be rela- 
tively long and have broad side-notching (Figure 1 34:c) 
seems more similar to the Early Dorset forms from 
lluvektalik-1 (Cox 1978:108) than the narrow-notched 
Middle Dorset forms from Koliktalik-1 (Cox 1 978:1 09). 
A fully ground tabular nephrite burin-like tool with a 
"squared" working end from Test Pit 3, however, 
exhibits the remnants of a proximal stem and traces of 
a small notch on a lateral margin, similar to Middle 
Dorset forms (Figure 1 36:0- The single and multiple 
side-notched bifaces from Nukasusutok-1 2 could be 
found in either Early or Middle Dorset contexts. 

To conclude, on typological grounds we might 
propose that Structure 2, Test Pits 1-3 and probably 
Structure 3 are Early/Middle Dorset, perhaps dating 
2200-2000 B.P.. On the basis of the radiocarbon dates, 
unsupported by typological data. Structure 4 and Test 
Pit 4 may be Middle Dorset or later. 

STRUCTURAL COMPARISONS 

A major difficulty in providing a broader view of the 
Nukasusutok-1 2 structural remains is the lack of pub- 
lished accounts of Dorset structures in Labrador or else- 
where. Three semi-subterranean houses have been given 
some preliminary documentation: one of the two Middle 
Dorset houses from Koliktalik-1 in the Nain region 
(Fitzhugh 1976:130-131; Cox 1978:107-111), 
Iglusuaktalialuk lsland-4 West, a Middle Dorset house in 
the Okak region (Cox 1 977:1 37-1 38), and Okak-3, a Late 
Dorset house in the Okak region (Cox 1977:195-196, 
1 978:1 10-111). Koliktalik-1 House 1 lacked an axial fea- 
ture, but there were a series of central pits associated 



with a partial pavement. The other two houses had well- 
defined stone axial features. 

Dorset surface structures are described as consist- 
ing of rectangular tent rings with central cobble or slab 
pavements lacking clear borders, or more ephemeral 
rock and pavement features (Cox 1978:11). The only 
published example is a tent ring from Avayalik-2 in 
northernmost Labrador, typologically dated to the 
Early/Middle Dorset "transition" (2200-1800 B.P.). This 
was a rectangular structure with a central boulder align- 
ment but without box hearths, slab pavements or verti- 
cal boundary rocks (R.Jordan 1980:612, Figure 4). One 
of the two radiocarbon dates from the structure is con- 
sistent with the typological dating (2000±75 B.P., 
1 345±70 B.P.;). In the Nain area, tent ring features of 
broadly similar character are known from an Early Dorset 
component at the Dog Island West Spur site and the 
Middle Dorset St. John's lsland-3, L-4 site. 

The Nukasusutok-1 2 structures are clearly of a dif- 
ferent character than the previously mentioned surface 
structures in that they consist of long axial features with 
hearth areas and they lack distinct tent rings. These con- 
trasts may indicate functional or seasonal differences. 
The lack of ring rocks may indicate the tents were 
anchored in snow and perhaps used in the early spring 
or late fall. As discussed in the spatial analysis of 
Structure 2, the presence of hearth-related pairs of tool 
clusters at each end of the mid-passage hints at behav- 
ioral symmetry, possibly indicative of two domestic units 
within a large dwelling. This inference can be compared 
with R.Jordan's (1980:612) preliminary conclusion that 
the tent ring at Avayalik-2 was used by two family units. 

Structures 1 and 2 at Nukasusutok-1 2 bear a strong 
resemblance to each other. Although slightly different in 
size, each had a well defined axial feature, clear evidence 
for a hearth at each end of the passage, possible traces 
of a third central hearth, notched schist slabs and traces 
of large terminus rocks at one or both ends of the pas- 
sage. These structural and organizational similarities 
might indicate proximity in time, but the almost total lack 
of lithics at Structure 1 hinders chronological inferences. 



210 



CHAPTER 1 



SETTLEMENT PATTERN AND 
SEASONALITY 

Drawing together the discussion so far, the 
Nukasusutok-1 2 lithic assemblage gives the impres- 
sion of a focus on sea mammal hunting with minimal 
evidence for a wider range of domestic activities. In the 
case of Structure 2, the high toohflake ratio indicates a 
high rate of tool discard with minimal tool production 
and maintenance, suggesting a social unit arrived with 
a limited tool kit prepared at another locality, perhaps 
a winter house, and functioned with low replacement 
requirements. The latter may not hold for the other 
features at the site, the sampling of which revealed 
larger quantities of debitage. The excavated axial fea- 
tures point to the use of large tents (perhaps family 
pairs?) and the presence of additional structures indi- 
cate the site was used repeatedly by small social units, 
probably around the Early to Middle Dorset "transi- 
tion," but possibly later as well. 

The potential seasonal use of the site can be con- 
sidered with reference to century Labrador Inuit 
settlement. According to Taylor (1974:51), Contact 
Period house sites were typically located with good 
access to fall harp seal hunting. There is an 18*^^ cgp. 
tury communal house complex just west of 
Nukasusutok-1 2 (Nukasusutok-8, Chapter 1 1 ) and east 
of Wyatt Harbour the narrow passage between a rocky 
islet and Nukasusutok Island is said to be a good place 
for intercepting harp seals. The area between 
Nukasusutok and Nochalik Island to the southwest has 
reasonably good open water sealing during the sum- 
mer. Mid-winter ice-edge sealing is not likely from the 
site since the usual position of the sina is off Humby's 
Island, over 20 km to the east (Figure 1 40). The area to 
the southeast between Satok Island and Humby's 
Island can be good for hunting seals basking on the ice 
in the spring. This area often has thin ice (visible as a 



darker shading in Figure 4), so open water areas may 
develop early in the spring. Given these considera- 
tions, the optimal periods for site occupation are dur- 
ing the harp seal migrations in the fall or the spring, 
basking seal hunting in the spring, or open water seal- 
ing during the summer. 

If we consider the Nain region Dorset site distribu- 
tion as a whole (Figure 140), it is clear that Dorset 
activity was concentrated in a 30 km wide band in the 
mid-outer island zone. Only a handful of sites are situ- 
ated at inner bay locations. Four of the five Middle 
Dorset semi-subterranean house sites^ are located 
within 7-8 km of the sina (as judged from Figure 4); 
Koliktalik-1 (Fitzhugh 1976:131, 140; Nagle 1984:217- 
228; Spiess 1 978), Ford Harbour-4 (Fitzhugh 1 981 :37), 
jonathon lsland-3 (site files. Cultural Heritage Division) 
and Drawbucket Tickle-2 (site files. Cultural Heritage 
Division). Spiess' (1978) interpretation of the faunal 
remains from the houses at Koliktalik-1 suggests the 
site was occupied October to December to exploit the 
southward harp seal migration and from March to June 
for hunting basking seals and the northward migrating 
harps. Cox and Spiess (1 980:660-661 ) hypothesize the 
site was abandoned January through March and postu- 
late movement to camps on more seaward islands near 
the ice-edge due to a lack of breathing hole sealing 
techniques. An axial pavement structure at St. John's 
lsland-3, L-4, is proposed as such a camp, oriented 
towards open water seal and walrus hunting. 

A possible variation on this pattern may be 
inferred from the fifth semi-subterranean house site 
located 8 km east of Nukasusutok-1 2: No-Name Island- 
2 (Sutton et al. 1981). This locality has two houses, 
with House 1 radiocarbon dated at 1285±75 B.P., 
1260±60 B.P. and 915±100 B.P. and House 2 dated 
1450±65 B.P. (Fitzhugh, personal communication); in 
other words late Middle Dorset to Late Dorset. 



''Middle Dorset sod houses have also been registered at Skull Island (Fitzhugh 1981:37), but subsequent investigation led 
Susan Kaplan to suggest they may actually be Thule houses on top of a Dorset component (site files. Cultural Heritage 
Division). This locality is located ca. 2-3 km from the sina. 



NUKASUSUTOK 1 2 EARLY/MIDDLE DORSET AXIAL STRUCTURES 




140/ Nain region Dorset site distribution. Original map © 2004 produced under licence from Her Majesty the Queen in Right 
of Canada, with permission of Natural Resources Canada. 



Excavations in a poorly preserved midden revealed the 
presence of walrus, but mid-winter hunting seems 
unlikely since the site is located 10-12 km distant from 
the sina. Given the tendency for thin ice and early open 
water in the area to the south between Satok and 
Humby's Island, it is possible walrus were hunted there 
in the first open leads of the late winter/early spring. 
They could also have been taken later in the open 
water period when the eastern end of the small island 
would serve as an excellent haul-out locale. 

With these winter sites as anchor points we 
could postulate that Dorset settlement patterns 
involved relatively short distance "lateral" (east-west) 



shifts on the scale of 1 5-30 km between fall-winter- 
spring semi-subterranean house sites located near 
the outer coastal fringe and spring-summer-fall tent 
dwellings at outer and mid-island locations, with 
similar or longer distance movements also possible 
on a north-south axis. Periodic shifts between alter- 
native winter house locations may have occurred pri- 
marily as "longitudinal" (north-south) movements. 
However, if the Nukasusutok-1 2 occupation, or at 
least part of it, pre-dated the documented Middle 
Dorset winter houses it could very well have been 
part of a different settlement pattern configuration 
than the one outlined here. 



212 



CHAPTER 10 



Post-Contact Inuit 

Settlement on N u lea susutok Isia 



As noted in Chapter 4, there are several localities with 
traces of Post-Contact Period inuit activity on 
Nukasusutok Island. These were not central to the 
fieldwork conducted in 1 979-80 or 1 992-93, although 
the midden at the 18'^*^ century communal house site 
Nukasusutok-8 (HcCh-10) was tested. Subsequent to 
this testing, the Robert S. Peabody Museum at Phillips 
Academy, Andover, Massachusetts, was visited in 
order to inspect collections made on Nukasusutok 
Island in 1928 by William Duncan Strong, anthropolo- 
gist with the Rawson-MacMillan Subarctic expedition. 
Strong's field notes and photographs were consulted 
at the National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian 
Institution, Washington D.C. 

Strong excavated some of the house structures at 
Nukasusutok-8 and collected skeletal material and arti- 
facts from graves at various places on the island. He 
never published this or other Inuit material he collect- 
ed between Nain and Hopedale, although the skeletal 
material was used in a physical anthropological study 
by T. D. Stewart (1939). The artifact material was first 
housed at the Field Museum in Chicago, but was even- 
tually transferred through an exchange agreement to 
the Peabody Museum, Andover. The value of the collec- 
tion is limited because Strong's cursory field notes lack 
critical provenience details, but the material is suffi- 
ciently interesting to justify an overview here, although 
the short time available for documentation did not 
permit a full analysis. Strong's material is supple- 
mented by a small test-pit collection derived from 



Nukasusutok-8 in 1992 and a brief survey of 
Nukasusutok-7 in 2004. 

Offsetting the problematic archaeological data is a 
relatively rich ethnohistoric record for the 
Nukasusutok-8 settlement. J. Garth Taylor's research 
on the Moravian missionary diaries uncovered refer- 
ences to the settlement between 1772-1794 and the 
Moravian Periodical Accounts (abbreviated as P. A.) 
contain passing references to later settlement on 
Nukasusutok Island. Some of the documentary infor- 
mation pertains to well-known Inuit individuals, so the 
usually anonymous archaeological context can be con- 
nected with the agency of real people and the social 
organization of the community can be specified. These 
ethnohistoric data are marshaled to construct a com- 
posite settlement history from the late 18^^^ to early 
1 9*^*^ centuries, which is followed by a consideration of 
the archaeological data. But a brief sketch of post-con- 
tact Inuit society and settlement patterns is first pre- 
sented to set the scene. 

POST-CONTACT INUIT SOCIETY 
AND SETTLEMENT 
PATTERNS IN LABRADOR 

The Thule ancestors of the Labrador Inuit colonized 
northern Labrador by AD 1250-1 300 (Fitzhugh 1 994). 
At the lglosiatik-1 site in the Nain area, Thule-style sod 
houses with traces of metal apparently date to the 
early 16^^ century (Fitzhugh 1994:258; Kaplan 
1983:216, 455-462). During the 16^^ century Inuit 



POST-CONTACT INUIT SETTLEMENT ON NUKASUSUTOK ISLAND 



213 



expanded southwards to Hamilton Inlet, the Strait of 
Belie Isle and the Quebec North Shore. Documentary 
information and archaeological data suggest the Inuit 
presence in southern Labrador was a year-round occu- 
pation that lasted until the mid-1 700s, when the 
increasing scale of European activity may have led to a 
contraction of Inuit occupancy towards Hamilton Inlet. 
During the 1 

gth 

and ]7^^ centuries the southern Inuit 
were in contact with a variety of Europeans who con- 
ducted whaling and fishing in the area: Basques, 
French, English, Portugese, Spanish and Dutch (Martijn 
and Clermont 1980: Stopp 2002:75-76). Inuit both 
traded for and plundered European goods (Stopp 
2002:83; Trudel 1980). Although some European 
wares made their way northwards along the Labrador 
coast through Inuit social networks, the degree of cul- 
ture change in the north was limited. 

Change accelerated during the 18'-'^ century. In 
1 702 the French Sieur de Courtemanche was granted a 
concession in southern and central Labrador and he 
established a base of operations at Bradore on the 
Quebec North Shore. In 1 735 the Quebec trader 
Marsal received a concession for sealing and trading at 
Cape Charles and in 1737 Louis Fornel was one of 
three partners who acquired a similar concession at 
Chateau Bay. In 1 743 Fornel established a post for 
trading with the Innu at Northwest River in Hamilton 
Inlet; after his death in 1 745 this post and another at 
Rigolet were run by his wife until ca. 1 755. French rela- 
tions with the Inuit in southern Labrador were general- 
ly marked by considerable conflict (Kennedy 1995:20- 
23; Stopp 2002:82-83, personal communication; 
Zimmerly 1 975:36-40). 

Britain acquired control of the Labrador coast in 
1 763 after the end of the Seven Years War. British mer- 
chants overtook operations at Chateau Bay and a 
defensive blockhouse called Fort York was construct- 
ed there in 1 766. In 1 770 George Cartwright overtook 
the trading post at Cape Charles and founded addition- 
al posts, including his northernmost establishment at 
Sandwich Bay in 1 775. Cartwright ceased operations in 



1 786. Other English merchants competed within the 
same area and by 1 784 Quebec traders were estab- 
lished in Hamilton Inlet (Kennedy 1995:25-41; 
Zimmerly 1975:42-44). During the 1760s and early 
1 770s large numbers of Inuit from the central coast- 
perhaps mostly from Hamilton Inlet, but also parties 
from Hopedale and Nain— made trips to the English 
trading centers at Cape Charles and Chateau Bay. 
George Cartwright's diary indicates that large groups 
of Inuit did not appear south of Hamilton Inlet after 
1 773 (Stopp, personal communication), but major Inuit 
traders were still making trips to Chateau Bay until ca. 
1 790 (see below). The establishment of Moravian mis- 
sions in central and northern Labrador after 1 771 pro- 
vided northern Inuit with closer trading options, which 
became more advantageous in the late 1780s and 
1 790s when Moravian trade policies were liberalized. 

During the course of the 1 7^^ and 1 8'^'^ centuries, 
Inuit tools traditionally made from stone were replaced 
by metals and a wide array of European goods was 
incorporated into Inuit life. Dwelling forms changed 
from the earlier small single-family sod houses to large 
multi-family communal houses (Kaplan 1983, 1985). 
The first Moravian missionary settlement was estab- 
lished at Main in 1771, followed by Okak (1776), 
Hopedale (1 782) and Hebron in 1 830 (and several oth- 
ers later in the 1 9^*^ century). Eventually, the previous- 
ly dispersed Inuit settlement became concentrated 
at the mission stations, where systematic 
Christianization and incorporation into European 
material culture systems occurred. But this process did 
not transpire rapidly. Moravian letters from the late 
18^*^ century repeatedly express frustration at the dif- 
ficulties of acquiring and retaining converts and 
bemoan the negative influences of "heathens." A 
poignant note is struck by a comment in the Hopedale 
diary for 1 795 that "...their hearts be as hard as rocks 
and as cold as the ice of their country" (P. A. 1: 
1795:351 ). Christianity was not consolidated until 
1804-1805 when a "revival" spread through the mis- 
sion settlement areas (Hiller 1971:86). Nonetheless, 



214 



CHAPTER 1 1 



"heathen" Inuit still dominated northernmost Labrador 
for many years thereafter (Loring 1998). 

Communal Houses and "Big-Men" Traders 

Much of the research on Post-Contact Inuit settlement 
has focused on the so-called "communal house phase" 
of the 18'^^ century. These semi-subterranean winter 
houses were rectangular, 7-16 m long and 6 m wide, 
with long entrance passages and generally three sleep- 
ing platforms (Kaplan 1983:238). Taylor's (1974:71) 
ethnohistorical data indicate the dwellings were occu- 
pied by an average of 20 people. The household was 
generally composed of several closely related families, 
often fathers and their married sons or brothers 
(Taylor 1 974:74-75) and polygyny was frequent (Taylor 
1974:67). Winter settlements consisted of 1-8 houses 
(average= 2.4; calculated from Taylor 1974:71). 
Information on the social relationships between house- 
holds is more limited than for within households, but 
Taylor (1974:77-78) suggested kinship sometimes 
played a role, either links between brothers or uxorilo- 
cal ties. Certain males had leadership positions within 
the households by virtue of their kinship positions 
(father/son or father/son-in-law), but leadership 
authority at the settlement level was less marked and 
was tied to personal qualities, shamanist power and 
success in trading for European goods. There were few 
mechanisms for solving disputes above the household 
level and authority conflicts between brothers were 
common (Taylor 1974:80-84). The latter resonates in 
the translation of Nukasusutok (NaKasetjutok) as "the 
place where the brothers quarreled" (Wheeler 1 953:62) 
and in a story recounted by Manase Fox (1979) con- 
cerning conflict between brothers, one a leader at 
Nukasusutok. 

The shift from single-family to multi-family com- 
munal dwellings has been discussed from different 
perspectives. Schledermann (1976) offered an environ- 
mental determinist proposal: climatic cooling and the 
concomitant decline of whale hunting decreased 
resource availability, resulting in Inuit co-residential 



arrangements to facilitate sharing and fuel conserva- 
tion. An unpublished paper by Taylor (1 976) attributed 
the development to social aggregation around individ- 
uals prominent in trading baleen for European goods, 
a position adopted by R. Jordan (1978) and Kaplan 
(1983:351-359; also Jordan and Kaplan 1980) and 
clearly analogous to Sahlins' (1963) "big-man" model 
and the north Alaskan umealik, a man of wealth and 
boat owner (Spencer 1 959). Kaplan went further, sug- 
gesting these high profile individuals and their eco- 
nomic and political activities indicate "...that a form of 
hierarchical organization was in operation in 18'^'^ cen- 
tury Neo-Eskimo society" (Kaplan 1 983:352). Inuit mid- 
dlemen from the central coast acquired baleen, whale- 
bone, seal oil and furs from groups in the north and 
then traveled to southern Labrador trading centers 
such as Cape Charles and Chateau Bay. There they 
acquired European goods that later were circulated 
northwards, either down-the-line along existing social 
networks or by the traders transporting them north- 
wards themselves (Kaplan 1983:351-353). A well- 
known trader from the Main region, Tuglavina, facilitat- 
ed this activity by acquiring a two-masted sloop (P. A. 
1 : 1 794:251). 

Kaplan (1 983:355-359) saw these processes in 
terms of the emergence of new "entrepreneurial" social 
roles, increased competition for resources and family 
rivalries. Multi-family households headed by boat own- 
ers constituted expanded production units and created 
social dependencies. Household heads could use these 
production units to generate the resources needed for 
participation in regional trade, which in turn provided 
the economic tools and symbols of status needed to 
retain followers and recruit multiple wives, who sup- 
plemented the household's labour power, served as 
prestige symbols and extended kinship-based eco- 
nomic networks. Shamanist power could also be used 
to reinforce social influence. 

The Jordan-Kaplan model was challenged by 
Richling (1993), who drew quite different conclusions 
from the connection between trade goods and multi- 



POST-CONTACT INUIT SETTLEMENT ON NUKASUSUTOK ISLAND 



215 



family households. Richling saw the 18'^'' century not 
as a period of radical shift towards hierarchy, but as a 
time when Inuit adjusted to changes by intensifying 
traditional egalitarian social practices. He questioned 
R. Jordan's (1978:184) assumption that trade goods 
were regarded as private property and thus not subject 
to sharing beyond the household. Instead, Richling 
(1993:74) suggested intensified communalism 
through sharing was a traditional Inuit means for deal- 
ing with economic scarcity and that access to scarce 
European goods would also have been handled 
through sharing relationships. Although Richling was 
probably right in questioning the relevance of private 
property concepts, his invocation of a blanket commu- 
nal social ethic as sufficient explanation for the devel- 
opment of multi-family houses leaves much of the 
dynamics of 18^'^ century Inuit society unaccounted 
for. It seems more productive to theorize household 
heads as active agents whose strategies drew on tradi- 
tional internal social resources such as personal char- 
acteristics, hunting skill, generosity and shamanist 
power, and who had varying degrees of ability to 
exploit the new external resources that became avail- 
able through engagement with the expanding periph- 
ery of the European world system. This leaves open the 
possibility for varied sets of local outcomes, some 
marked by a degree of social inequality, others marked 
by equality maintenance mechanisms. 

In order to put human faces on the abstract cate- 
gory of Inuit agents, a short historical narrative derived 
from Moravian missionary sources is presented in the 
next section. The late 18'^'^ century Moravian accounts 
provide an interesting glimpse of the prevailing social 
dynamics, albeit from a Moravian point of view. This 
story of two well-known Inuit highlights some of the 
processes outlined above. 

An Ethnohistoric Vignette: Tuglavina 
and Mikak 

One individual whose life intersected with the 
Nukasusutok settlement for a time was the "big-man" 



trader Tuglavina, frequently referred to in the late 1 8'^'' 
century Moravian accounts. His sometime wife Mikak 
also has a high profile in the historical records, 
although there is no indication that she resided on 
Nukasusutok with Tuglavina. The following is a brief 
biographical synopsis, culled from J. Garth Taylor's 
publications and the Moravian Periodical Accounts. It 
provides a sketch of important aspects of Inuit social 
and economic life during the late 18*^^ century, but it 
should be emphasized that neither individual can be 
taken as representative of a "typical" Inuk of the time. 

Mikak was the daughter of the Inuit leader 
Nerkingoak. After an initial 1765 encounter with 
Moravian missionaries on an exploratory trip, Mikak 
was captured in 1 767 near Cape Charles in southern 
Labrador. In 1 768 she was taken to England where she 
resided until her return to Labrador in 1769. She 
moved within London society and helped promote the 
Moravian cause; the mission eventually received a land 
grant in 1769. When the Moravian missionaries 
returned in 1 770 on another exploratory trip to find a 
location to establish a mission they met Mikak and her 
new husband Tuglavina near Byron Bay (north of 
Hamilton Inlet). Mikak clothed herself in a gold- 
trimmed gown given to her by the Dowager Princess of 
Wales, and a king's medal. The couple accompanied 
the Moravians northwards to Nain, Tuglavina serving 
as guide (Taylor 1979:740, 1984:18-19; Whiteley 
1 979:536-537). One might speculate as to whether 
Tuglavina's forming a partnership with a woman who 
had such close ties with the English was a deliberate 
strategy on his part to facilitate access to European 
goods and acquire status. 

The Moravians regarded Tuglavina as "...a man of 
vast authority among his countrymen" (P. A. 3: 
1799:435) "...and his word was absolute law" (P. A. 1: 
1 794:251 ). His prominence was based partly on hunt- 
ing success, physical strength and cleverness, but also 
on the widespread belief that he possessed exception- 
al powers of sorcery that were given to him by Torngak 
(a spirit). If, after consulting with Torngak, he stated 



216 



CHAPTER 1 1 



that someone should be killed, the declaration was 
implemented. Tugiavina himself allegedly killed sever- 
al people and his shamanist exhortations resulted in 
many additional killings by others. During the early 
years of the mission Tugiavina was a thorn in the side 
of the Moravians, "seducing" their converts (P. A. 1 : 
1794:251). He and Mikak did not live at the mission 
(Whiteley 1 979:537); as noted below, we know that he 
was resident at the Nukasusutok settlement in 1 776- 
77. Despite his activities, Tugiavina maintained a "sub- 
missive" tone in the vicinity of the missionaries (P. A. 1 : 
1 794:25 1 ) and assisted them in various ways. In 1 775 
he used a boat constructed for him by the Moravians 
to transport some missionaries scouting for a new mis- 
sion site to the Hopedale area. In 1 780 a missionary 
accompanied him into the interior on a caribou hunt- 
ing trip (Taylor 1969, 1979:740, 1984:21). 

Mikak and Tugiavina had a difficult relationship. 
Prior to Mikak's return from England Tugiavina had 
been married to Mikak's younger sister. Tugiavina 
took possession of the sister again in 1772, which 
alienated the group she had been with and displeased 
Mikak. Mikak was also displeased when Tugiavina tem- 
porarily exchanged her for another man's spouse. A 
feud was brewing with another group in the Nain 
region because of complaints that Mikak's family did 
not share the goods they had accumulated. In 1 774-75 
Tugiavina and Mikak wintered in the interior, subsist- 
ing off stored caribou meat. In the fall of 1 775 the 
couple went to northern Labrador on a trading expedi- 
tion, collecting baleen at Nachvak, among other 
places. In the spring of 1 776 Tugiavina abandoned 
Mikak in favour of her two sisters. Mikak then lived 
with another man who lacked resources and social sta- 
tus (Taylor 1984:21-22). By 1782 Tugiavina had four 
wives (Taylor 1979:740, 1984:23). 

In 1 782 Tugiavina went to Chateau Bay in south- 
ern Labrador where he traded at European establish- 
ments. Mikak and her new husband followed. 
Tuglavina's southern trading continued until ca. 1 790. 
At the outset he acquired a two masted sloop in the 



south (P. A. 1: 1794:251), which was instrumental for 
his ability to gather baleen from Inuit in northern 
Labrador. The baleen was exchanged for European 
goods at Chateau Bay and the goods were then trans- 
ported to the north. Tugiavina also acquired firearms, 
which the Moravians had been unwilling to supply, and 
he solicited Inuit to accompany him on his trading 
trips, which did not please the missionaries (Taylor 
1 979:740). On his return to Nain in 1 784 he appeared 
at the mission wearing a European officer's outfit con- 
sisting of a coat, wig, laced hat and sword (P. A. 1: 
1794:251). In 1783 Tugiavina was baptized in the 
south and given the Christian name William, but he 
returned to Nain in 1784 "as sinful as ever," although 
he assisted the mission in various ways (P. A. 3: 
1 799:435-437). 

Mikak lived mostly in the Hamilton Inlet area until 
1 795 when she returned to the mission at Nain, where 
she died about the age of 55 (Whiteley 1 979:536-537). 
Tuglavina's life as a trader ended by 1 790 "...when his 
sloop became unseaworthy and he had only a single 
dog to pull his sled" (Taylor 1979:740). In 1790 he 
joined the mission settlement in Nain, now with only 
one wife. He was not accepted as a full member of the 
Nain congregation until 1 793, since he had difficulty 
conforming to Moravian expectations. In 1 793 the 
missionaries wrote that Tugiavina and Sikfigak's fami- 
lies departed the mission for other places "...where 
they spent the winter in many wicked ways. ..Tugiavina 
is often very uneasy in his conscience and promises to 
return, but cannot put his good intentions into execu- 
tion" (P.A. 1: 1793:21 5). But by 1795-96 Tugiavina 
began to "testify" to other Inuit and remained a convert 
despite "harassment" from "heathen" Inuit (P.A. 1: 
1 795:354, 2:60). He died of pleurisy in 1 798 at ca. 60 
years old, a few days after returning from a caribou 
hunt (P.A. 3: 1 799:328, 435). 

18^*^ Century Subsistence-Settlement Systems 

The 18'^'^ century Inuit communal house economy 
must also be situated in terms of subsistence-settle- 



POST-CONTACT INUIT SETTLEMENT ON NUKASUSUTOK ISLAND 



217 



ment systems. The following is a short summary of 
central points. 

Semi-subterranean sod house settlements were 
occupied during the winter, beginning in mid-October 
when Inuit moved into their houses prior to the fall 
hunt for southward migrating harp seals (Taylor 
1974:51). According to Taylor (1974:51), all the late 
18'^'^ century winter house settlements in the Nain- 
Okak regions were located in areas with access to 
migrating harp seals. Harps and other seals were hunt- 
ed by kayak until the formation of sea-ice. Fall sealing 
was highly productive such that seals were first cached 
near the hunting sites then transported by sled to the 
settlements later in the winter (Taylor 1974:35, 51 ). 
Bowhead whales were hunted in November by umiak 
crews of 1 1 -1 5 men (Taylor 1 988: 123, 125). Moravian 
records from 1771-1784 indicate the most productive 
whaling areas (in descending order) were Hebron, 
Nachvak, Sagiek, Okak, and Hopedale, with a total of 
63 whales reported taken during this time span. No 
whales were reported as captured in the Nain area, 
probably because of the unfavorable bathymetric con- 
ditions of the island-studded archipelago (Taylor 
1988:125), but stranded drift whales were exploited 
when available (Taylor 1988:127). 

After freeze-up in mid-December, Inuit activities 
were centered on breathing hole sealing through new 
thin ice, especially along the sJna or at tidal "rattles." 
This was often undertaken by male hunting parties 
based in temporary snow-house camps. But January 
through April was a relatively low productivity period 
for sealing. Caribou meat taken on fall hunts in the 
interior might be retrieved from distant inland caches 
(Taylor 1 969:1 57, 1974:51-55). March and April were 
marked by sealing and walrus hunting at the sina and 
rock cod could be jigged through the sea-ice and char 
through the ice on inland lakes. 

The sod house settlements were abandoned in 
late April when households established tent camps on 
the outer islands for spring sealing. Both basking seal 
(ottuk) techniques and open water kayak hunting were 



employed, with bearded and harbor seals as primary 
prey. In June the northward migration of the harp seals 
would be exploited by open water hunting, occasional- 
ly walrus and beluga could be had, and sea birds were 
hunted and their eggs collected (Taylor 1974:55-56). 
After the ice break-up in mid-June people moved to the 
inner bays where large regional gatherings occurred at 
aggregation sites. In the Nain area this was at Amitok 
(Pardy Island), where 200-300 people participated. 
Kayak-based sealing was conducted in the bays and 
char and salmon were fished on their seaward runs 
(Taylor 1974:18, 56). 

In late August and until October, some families 
went inland to hunt caribou for their skins and to 
cache meat for the winter. Those remaining on the 
coast engaged in sealing, fished char and salmon on 
their landward migrations, caching them for future 
use, and fished cod (Taylor 1974:57-58). 

On the Cusp of Change: Into the Early 
19*^1 Century 

During the late 1 8'^'^ and early 1 9*^*^ centuries a series 
of changes occurred as central coast Inuit gradually 
abandoned their communal houses and resettled at 
the Moravian mission centers. Although the missions 
at Nain, Okak and Hopedale were established between 
1 771 and 1 782, it was not until the early 1 9th centu- 
ry that the majority of Inuit resided in these settle- 
ments. In 1 793 the Moravians reported four houses 
with a total of 60 Inuit at Nain (P.A.I :1 793:21 5). In 
1 795 the Nain mission reported a congregation of 28 
plus 40 others who were permitted to live at the set- 
tlement (P. A. 1 :1 795:354). In 1 806, after the "revival" 
episode, there were 42 baptized and 22 unbaptized 
Inuit (P.A. 4:1 806:1 25). By 1810 there were 91 in the 
congregation (P.A. 5:1810:55) and in 1819 there were 
146 congregants and a total of 1 75 inhabitants in the 
Nain settlement (P. A. 7: 1 81 9: 1 66). The slow recruit- 
ment rate well into the early 19'^'^ century suggests 
that Inuit assessed the costs and benefits of affiliating 
themselves with the missions and initially found few 



218 



CHAPTER 1 1 



advantages in doing so. Yet by the second decade of 
the 19*^^ century the dynamics of autonomy/depend- 
ence relations had shifted to the extent that autonomy 
was no longer a viable strategy on the central coast. 

The primary attraction of settling at a mission sta- 
tion was close and reliable access to European goods 
since, as noted above, the Moravians' frustration with 
a low conversion rate indicates that religious enthusi- 
asm was not a central factor (Kaplan 1983:365). 
Initially, the Moravians tried to deal with this problem 
through a strategy of handling economic transactions 
and religious conversion as separate spheres. Goods 
and services had to be paid for and food was not dis- 
pensed freely except in times of dire need. Since the 
mission store was accessible to both converts and 
"heathen," conversion had no direct economic benefits 
and residence at mission settlements might incur sub- 
sistence disadvantages because of the non-optimal 
placement of the missions relative to game resources 
(Hiller 1971:84-85). Thus, until the early 1800s Inuit 
retained their autonomy in the hinterlands of the mis- 
sion settlements, leaders attempted to lure converts 
away from the missions and traders continued their 
travels to southern Labrador. 

In the late 1780s and 1790s the Moravian strate- 
gy of separating the spiritual realm from utilitarian 
rewards was undermined by organizational changes 
involving closer links between mission policy and eco- 
nomic practices, such as providing firearms to com- 
pete with southern traders and allowing credit (Hiller 
1971:94-95). These practices increased the potential 
benefits of mission affiliation and subverted the ability 
of independent Inuit traders to sustain their activities 
and retain followers. Increased economic engagement 
with the Moravians impacted social relations and mate- 
rial culture. The availability of guns for caribou hunting 
eliminated the use of drive systems and large group 
cooperation, while sealing and fishing with nets pro- 
vided larger immediate returns with minimal coopera- 
tion. In the 19'^'^ century, fox trapping drew Inuit into 
credit/debt relations and greater dependence on 



European goods since trapping did not generate direct 
subsistence rewards (Kaplan 1983:361-363). 

Those Inuit who settled at the missions not only 
underwent religious conversion but also significant 
social transformations. The missionaries abhorred the 
multi-family houses and their associated "heathen" 
practices so mission Inuit were required to live in sin- 
gle-family dwellings. The Moravians were concerned 
about the potential bad influence of "heathens" outside 
the settlements, so converts were encouraged to hunt 
and fish close to the missions in order to minimize 
contacts with "heathens" and to permit Moravian mon- 
itoring of the converts' behavior. This tethering was 
problematic for a traditional economy requiring mobil- 
ity and opportunism, especially at Nain, where the mis- 
sion was established at an inner bay location many 
kilometers distant from the best winter hunting areas 
on the outer islands. The Moravians therefore had to 
accept a degree of residential flexibility and seasonal 
mission occupation on the part of their converts (Hiller 
1971:89-9;, Kaplan 1983:365). An important shift in 
subsistence practices encouraged by the Moravians 
was an intensification of cod fishing in the fall to lay in 
a stored food supply to offset frequent winter short- 
ages. But as late as 1814 the Moravians reported diffi- 
culties in establishing a storage-oriented cod fishery 
because Inuit were satisified with 1 00-200 fish and did 
not like that type of work (P. A. 6:1 81 4:54). 

An important aspect of mission-related social 
transformation concerns women's roles. The status of 
women in Inuit society in general has been the subject 
of considerable discussion (e.g., Briggs 1974; Ciffen 
1930; Cuemple 1986). A strong division of labor by 
gender is evident in the ethnography, but the function- 
al complementarity of roles is generally stressed. At 
the same time, however, accounts of violence towards 
women abound, wife-stealing is a recurrent theme and 
the symmetry or asymmetry of spousal exchange has 
been debated. The ethnohistorical material from 
Labrador is no different. Taylor (1974:80) refers to 
accounts of runaway wives and spousal violence, and 



POST-CONTACT INUIT SETTLEMENT ON NUKASUSUTOK ISLAND 



219 



the politics of polygyny (Taylor 1 974:67-70) were open 
to abuse as well. From one perspective, multiple wives 
provided the male household leader with more labor 
power and higher prestige, while from another per- 
spective co-wives provided each other with labor assis- 
tance (Cabak 1 991 :42). The distribution of these costs 
and benefits is hard to determine from the published 
sources and there is no information on the ranking of 
co-wives within households. Women could also be 
shamans (Taylor 1974:87, 1989) and thus possess 
spiritual power. Taylor (1974:87) refers to a joint per- 
formance of seal hunting prediction by Sattugana 
(woman) and Millik (her husband) at Nukasusutok in 
1774, commenting: "...it is interesting to consider the 
indirect control Millik would have over the economic 
activities in his camp through his wife's reputation as 
a shaman." But Sattugana seems to have had direct 
influence over her husband as well, forbidding him to 
undertake actions on advice from spirits (Taylor 
1 974:88). The history of Mikak and Tuglavina is a com- 
plex mixture of a strong woman as social agent, con- 
flict and spousal abandonment. 

Whatever the conflicting evidence, there are 
strong grounds for assuming that in many cases an 
Inuit woman's status in 1 8^^ century Labrador was not 
enviable. Perhaps this is an important reason why 
women were the core converts when the Moravian mis- 
sions began to attract residents towards the end of the 
18^^ century. In 1799 the Nain mission observed that 
"...in general, the men do not seem so determined in 
their resolution to abide faithful as the women" (P. A. 
2:1799:328) and it appears that women were impor- 
tant catalysts in the religious revival of 1804-1805 
(Brice-Bennett [1981], cited in Cabak 1991:58). Cabak 
(1991:62-67) suggests that Inuit women affiliated 
themselves with the missions out of an interest in 
Christianity as a source of hope and security, a desire 
to change the unhappy or abusive circumstances of 
their lives, to take advantage of educational opportuni- 
ties and childcare possibilities within a larger commu- 
nity, to extract themselves from the marginality of wid- 



owhood and old age, and to acquire European goods. 
As far as the latter is concerned, archaeological mate- 
rials from 19'^'^ century middens at the Nain mission 
settlement suggest that Inuit women were active in 
integrating European goods into household contexts 
and that the use of these goods may have contributed 
to women's prestige (Cabak 1991:181; Cabak and 
Loring 2000). 

AN ETH NOH ISTORIC SKETCH OF 
THE NUKASUSUTOK SETTLEMENT 

References to Nukasusutok in the ethnohistoric 
sources have been patched together to form a sketchy 
settlement history. The synopsis is derived primarily 
from J. Garth Taylor's and Helga Taylor's published 
research, which draws on the mostly German language 
Moravian mission diaries and letters. Also consulted 
were the Moravian Periodical Accounts (P. A.), which are 
annually published English summaries of mission diary 
entries and letters. Most of these accounts probably 
refer to Nukasusutok-8, but it is possible that some of 
the early 19'^'^ century references to Nukasusutok 
might refer to a dwelling at Nukasusutok-7. 

The demographic data pertaining to the 
Nukasusutok-8 settlement are outlined in Table 57. In 
the following account the settlement history is broken 
down according to the years for which relevant infor- 
mation is available. References to other localities are 
included when the information is relevant to under- 
standing the Nukasusutok settlement. 



Table 57. Demographic Data for the Nukasusutok 
Settlement from Moravian Sources (Taylor 1974:16). 





No. of Houses 


Population 


1 773-74 


23 


6 


1 774-75 


(3) 


(60) 


1 776-77 


4 


62 


1 779-80 


2 


33 


1 781-82 


2 


50 



Parentheses indicate estimates 



220 



CHAPTER 1 1 



1772-73 

The brothers Millik and Pattiguk, who would winter the 
next year on Nukasusutok, each had a winter house on 
Niatak Island (7 km northwest of the Nukasusutok set- 
tlement). Each household contained 20 people (Taylor 
1974:77). Millik's wife Sattugana was an eminent 
shaman and performed a ceremony during the winter 
(Taylor 1974:87, 1985:123, 1989:300). 

1 773-74 

The Nukasusutok settlement consisted of two houses 
containing a total population of 36 people (Taylor 
1974:16, 71). Millik (father-in-law) and Okarloak II 
(son-in-law) shared a household (Taylor 1974:75). 
Millik's wife Sattugana gave a shamanist performance 
concerning the weather and seal hunting possibilities 
(Taylor 1974:87, 1989:301). Taylor (1974:87) sug- 
gests that Sattugana's reputation as a shaman may 
have contributed indirectly to Millik's control over 
community economic activities. Sikkuliak (father) and 
Kigluana (son), who would later reside at Nukasusutok, 
shared a house at Satosoak Island (30 km west of 
Nukasusutok). 

1774-75 

Millik ordered his sled and 1 2 dogs to be prepared for 
the missionaries when they left the Nukasusutok set- 
tlement. He sent his eldest son Aumarak and Akbik 
with them. Taylor (1974:80) cites this incident as one 
of the few documented examples of authority asser- 
tion by a household head. 

1776-77 

In December 1 776 a stranded whale was towed to the 
Nukasusutok settlement just before freeze-up (Taylor 
1974:76-77, 1988:128, 1990:52). The baleen was 
described as "marketable," the meat as "spoiled, " but 
the skin was still edible (Taylor 1988:128, 1990:59). 
Given this bonanza of whale skin, people from all over 
the Nain region converged on Nukasusutok to feast 
and celebrate. The community consisted of four sod 



houses with a total of 62 people and eight snow hous- 
es that probably contained at least 38 visitors, for a 
total of 1 00-1 50 people (Taylor 1 974:1 6, 1 990:60). In 
January 1 777 the Inuit built a kagglk (festival house) 
of snow, 5.3 m high and 8.3 m in diameter, with an 
entrance passage. The kaggik activities mostly 
involved men, and included the nullutak game (in 
which a bone with holes is suspended from the ceiling 
and participants attempt to skewer the holes with 
sticks) and boxing (Taylor 1990:53-54). Taylor 
(1 974:78) was able to use the Moravian census data to 
reconstruct the kinship relations among the sod house 
inhabitants (Figure 141). 

Household 1 : Sikkuliak was the head. The unit con- 
sisted of 10 people, including Sikkuliak's two wives, 
six children, and the married son Kigluana (Taylor 
1974:75). 

Household 2 Millik was the head. The unit consist- 
ed of 1 6 people, including Millik's three wives. Millik's 
second wife was Sikkuliak's daughter, therefore Millik 
was Sikkuliak's son-in-law. This provides evidence for 
an uxorilocal relationship. The household also includ- 
ed five of Millik's children, two of whom were married 
with their own families. 

Household 3: Pattiguk was the head. The unit con- 
sisted of six people, including Pattiguk's three wives 
and two children. Note that the brothers Pattiguk and 
Millik had lived in the same settlement at Niatak in 
1 772-73. 

Household 4: Tuglavina was the head. The unit 
consisted of 1 1 people, including Tuglavina's three 
wives (not Mikak, who had been abandoned the previ- 
ous spring) and Tuglavina's brother, with his two wives 
and three offspring. 

Taylor (1974:81) assumes the 1777 Beck census 
ordered the houses in terms of importance, implying 
that Sikkuliak (household 1) was most prominent. 
Taylor goes on to suggest that Sikkuliak's pre-emi- 
nence was due to his kinship tie as Tuglavina's broth- 
er (possibly elder), as well as being Millik's father-in- 
law. Additionally, we know that the brothers Sikkuliak 



POST-CONTACT INUIT SETTLEMENT ON NUKASUSUTOK ISLAND 



221 



AtOtO 1=o 
AST) 



=0=0 



Household 4 
(Tuglavina) 



o=A A A 6 6 6 



Household 1 
(Sikkuliak) 



"Z)f1tOtO 




Household 2 
(Millik) 



1 = = = 

6^ 



Household 3 
(Pattiguk) 



141/ Kinship relations of households at the Nukasusutok settlement, winter I 776-1 777. After Taylor (1 974:78): reproduced 
by permission of the Canadian Museum of Civilization. 



and Tuglavina quarreled periodically (Taylor 1974:82) 
and that they probably never shared a household, 
although in this case they were co-resident at the set- 
tlement. Parenthetically, this fraternal relationship is 
interesting in light of the etymology of Nukasusutok 
given by Wheeler (1953:62-63): "the place where the 
brothers quarreled." 

1777-78 

Sikkuliak and his son-in-law Millik began to build a 
house together at Okak (Taylor 1 974:74). 

1 779-80 

This winter the Nukasusutok settlement consisted of 
two houses and a total of 33 people (Taylor 1974:16). 
Pattiguk resided here and his nephew Kapik left the 
mission settlement at Nain to live in Pattiguk's house- 
hold (Taylor 1974:74). Sikkuliak and his son Kigluana 
shared the other household (Taylor 1974:75). 

1780- 81 

Sikkuliak and his son Kigluana shared a household at 
Kheovik, at Voisey's Bay (Taylor 1 974:75). 

1781- 82 

Two households with a total of 50 people resided at 
the Nukasusutok settlement (Taylor 1974:16, 71). A 



stranded 1 8-20 foot minke whale was towed to the set- 
tlement (Taylor 1974:32, 1988:128). Three families 
moved away from Nukasusutok: Millik, his married son 
Aumarak and Naksuk (Taylor 1974:74). Sikkuliak and 
Ketornek shared a household at Nain (Sikkuliak was 
the uncle of Ketornek's wife: Taylor 1 974:74). A spring 
camp was established seaward from Nukasusutok. On 
May 26 it consisted of three tents (22.5 people esti- 
mated) and on May 27 four tents (30 people estimat- 
ed: Taylor 1974:18). 

1783 

The Nukasusutok Inuit found "...a hole in the ice with 
two sled-loads of sea birds," probably dovekies (Taylor 
1974:54). In other words, there was an open water 
area that attracted a large number of birds, which were 
hunted rather thoroughly. 

1784 

Millik and his eldest son Aumarak were killed by 
Tuglavina and others while trading at Cape Charles in 
southern Labrador (Taylor 1974:92). 

1794 

Apkajunna, his family and two others visited Okak in 
February from Nukasusutok. He was instrumental in 
organizing the construction of a festival house at 



222 



CHAPTER 1 1 



Okak. A 1 783 Moravian account states that Apkajunna 
was originally from Sagiek and a 1 784 account men- 
tions him as a whale harpooner at Okak. According to 
accounts from 1 787 and 1 794, he later became a mid- 
dleman in the trade with Europeans, acquiring a wood- 
en boat and wintering in the Hamilton Inlet region 
(Taylor 1990:62). 

1800 

Only a few "heathen" families remained in the Nain 
area. It appeared that the "heathen" were: "...more than 
ever convinced of the necessity for conversion" (P. A. 2: 
1800:472). In December the angakok (shaman) 
Sigsikak went from Nukasusutok to Nain with his 
"whole numerous family" (P. A. 3: 1801:12). Two 
Englishmen arrived unexpectedly and came to the 
Nukasusutok settlement to catch seals in nets and win- 
ter there, but the Inuit "...didn't seek the company of 
the strangers." (P.A. 2: 1800:472) 

1805-6 

A group of "heathen" were reported at Nukasusutok. 
They maintained relations with traders and settlers in 
Hamilton Inlet (P.A. 3: 1805:489). At Hopedale in 
1806, Siksigak was baptized and re-named Mark, 
which the Moravians regarded as a "striking conver- 
sion" (P.A. 4: 1806:87). 

1809 

The missionaries in Nain reported: "We have heard with 
much concern, that a man, who had lived two winters 
on our land, and even last winter gave good hopes that 
he would be converted, has been seduced by the hea- 
thens at Nokkasusuktok to change his mind, and no 
more intend[s] to live on our land" (P.A. 4: 1809:453). 

181 1 

During the winter Inuit from Nukasusutok came fre- 
quently to the mission at Nain to trade. Their "princi- 
ple leader" moved to Nain in February, seemingly ready 
for conversion (P.A. 5:1811 :1 30). 



Discussion 

One of the major points emerging from this short set- 
tlement history is that Nukasusutok-8 represents 
repeated occupations by many different household 
units. These households circulated among several set- 
tlement locations over the years, some close by in the 
Nain area, others further afield in Okak, Sagiek and 
Hamilton Inlet. Nonetheless, there appears to have 
been a degree of consistency in the social composition 
of the settlement during the 1 year period of 1 772-82, 
with the families of Sikkuliak, Millik and Pattiguk being 
mentioned frequently. This is probably a consequence 
of the fraternal relationship between Millik and Pattiguk 
and Millik's marriage to one of Sikkuliak's daughters 
(see Figure 1 38). But although some settlements may 
have been associated with specific families or kin units 
for a time, residential mobility was high and structured 
by both kinship and opportunistic factors. 

Another point is that despite considerable contact 
with the Moravians in the early years after the estab- 
lishment of the Nain mission in 1771, the inhabitants 
of the Nukasusutok settlement remained unconverted. 
By the early 1800s Nukasusutok was regarded by the 
missionaries as an outpost of recalcitrant "heathens." 
Not only did they still resist conversion, but they 
encouraged converts residing at the Nain mission to 
abandon their new beliefs. Furthermore, the 
Nukasusutok Inuit maintained contacts with traders 
and European settlers in Hamilton Inlet, an undesirable 
link in Moravian eyes, since it undercut Moravian influ- 
ence and control. This, along with the residence of sev- 
eral prominent traders and shamans at the settlement, 
suggests that Nukasusutok was a prominent site of 
resistance to European domination. 

There are two obvious archaeological conse- 
quences of this settlement history. First, the sod hous- 
es at Nukasusutok-8 were probably cleaned out or ren- 
ovated periodically, thus it is unlikely that the house 
and midden contents can be related to any of the doc- 
umented individuals and the house floor contents will 
mostly represent the last occupation phase. Second, 



POST-CONTACT INUIT SETTLEMENT ON NUKASUSUTOK ISLAND 



223 



we might expect that a settlement composed of Inuit 
resisting control by the IVloravians might contain a 
combination of traditional Inuit and European goods, 
but unusual quantities of European goods might be 
present, particularly if prominent traders such as 
Tuglavina and the nascent middleman Apkajunna were 
resident there for extended periods. Another possibil- 
ity might be the presence of artifacts related to 
shamanist practices, since Sattugana, Tuglavina and 
Sigsikak all were believed to possess special powers. 

THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF 
NUKASUSUTOK-7 (HcCI-8) 

Nukasusutok-7 is a Contact to post-Contact Period site 
located on Pumialuk Point on the southwestern portion 
of Nukasusutok Island (Figure 16). The area was tra- 
versed by a Smithsonian associate in 1 973 but was not 
revisited until contract and provincial government 
archaeologists passed by on a mineral exploration- 
related survey in 1 997 (Penney 1 997; K. Reynolds, per- 
sonal communication). The author conducted a brief 
reconnaissance in 2004. The site designation lumps 
together five separate localities that are distributed 
along a 700 m stretch of the point. Each locality is 
described separately, proceeding westwards. 

L-1 

On an extensive flat area near the base of the point 
were a large oval tent ring (5 by 5 m) and a small stone 
grave or fox trap. 

L-2 

A large stone grave was located in a narrow beach 
pass. Constructed of boulders, the grave was 3.5 by 
1 .5 m in size and was oriented east-west. A gift cache 
(1 by 1 m) directly adjoined its western end. This fea- 
ture might be Strong's Grave 3 (see below), which had 
a gift cache and skeletal remains oriented with the 
head towards the east, but his description is so 
sketchy it is impossible to be sure. Strong mentioned 
that the chamber of Grave 3 contained broken brass 



and iron objects and the cache had broken metal 
objects. 

L-3 

Two oval tent rings (both 4 m in diameter) and one 
square tent ring (4 by 4 m). 

L-4 

Four square tent rings (two 5 by 5 m, one 5 by 4 m, one 
4 by 4 m); one contained a probable internal hearth. A 
clay pipestem was noted on the surface of the beach 
crest. At the western side of the beach pass was a 
wood cache positioned under a bedrock overhang. 

L 5 

A broad beach pass contained four features. On the 
western side of the pass was a semi-subterranean 
house. Ten meters east of the house was a small rec- 
tangular stone "frame" and 20 m east of this were two 
more such frames. 

Semi-Subterranean House 

This feature was square, 5 by 4.5 m in size. Its well- 
preserved back and side walls (30-50 cm wide) were 
built up with sod to a height of 25 cm above the exter- 
nal ground surface and 50 cm above the internal floor 
level. The front of the house lacked a distinct above- 
surface wall; it was simply dug down ca. 20 cm from 
the turf surface. There was no clear entrance passage, 
only a shallow depression 1.5 m wide by 2.5 m long 
that extended from the center of the front wall. The 
entrance faced south. There was a single rear sleeping 
platform that encompassed the entire rear wall and 
was 1.3 m wide. 

Three small shovel tests were excavated in an 
attempt to find diagnostic materials to date the struc- 
ture. Test Pit 1 was placed 1 .4 m from the front wall of 
the house, just east of the entrance depression. It 
revealed a 20 cm thick and extremely compact peat 
layer on top of beach gravel. About 10 cm below the 
peat surface was a charcoal layer that contained two 



224 



CHAPTER 1 1 



well preserved seal bones. Test Pit 2 was excavated in 
the center of the house floor, 1 m from the front wall. 
Here there was a 10 cm deep peat layer on top of 
beach gravel. Towards the bottom of the peat were two 
small iron fragments, a poorly preserved seal bone 
and a piece of wood embedded vertically into the floor. 
Little charcoal was encountered. Test Pit 3 was placed 
2 m from the front wall, on the western side of the 
entrance depression. It contained 25 cm of peat on top 
of beach gravel; no cultural material was observed. 

This semi-subterranean structure is notable for its 
"light" construction, exhibiting a form more similar to 
a transitional season qarmat than a winter house. The 
relatively small size of the dwelling, plus its lack of a 
well-defined entrance passage, is suggestive of a 19'^^ 
century structure. Unfortunately, no datable finds were 
recovered. The paucity of cultural material suggests the 
dwelling was occupied for only a short period of time. 

Stone "frames" 

The three stone "frames" were rectangular alignments 
of small rocks, similar in size (1 .3 by 0.80 m) and ori- 
ented approximately north-south. They may mark early 
Christian graves. 

THE ARCHAEOLOGY 
OF NUKASUSUTOK-8 AND W. D. 
STRONG'S GRAVE COLLECTION 

The sod-house village Nukasusutok-8 (HcCh-10) is 
located towards the southwest portion of the island at 
the base of a steep spruce-clad valley (Figures 16, 1 42, 
143). W. D. Strong was informed about the 
Nukasusutok house structures by an Inuk from Main. In 
1928 Strong and an expedition companion spent the 
period of August 1-7 on the island investigating 
Nukasusutok-8 and several Inuit graves. This occurred 
at the tail-end of the Rawson-MacMillan expedition and 



it is evident from Strong's diary entries that he was 
fed-up and looking forward to heading home. Kaplan's 
(1 983:469) visit in 1 980 identified five sod houses, but 
Strong's field notes indicate seven dwellings, two of 
which may be tentative. Since the two "missing" struc- 
tures could be obscured beneath today's heavy vegeta- 
tion cover. Strong's sketch map is used as the basis 
for Figure 142 and his numbering sequence for the 
houses^ is retained. Also present at the site are a tent 
ring and the remains of a kayak stand or cache. A 
grave lies near the shore ca. 200 m west of the site. 
Besides Kaplan's brief visit in 1980, more recent inves- 
tigations of the site include the author's 1 992 test-pit- 
ting of the midden in front of House 5 and a recon- 
naissance by J. Garth Taylor in 1966 (Taylor 1966). 

Strong excavated much of House 1 , part of House 
5, and tested Houses 4, 6 and 7. He found relatively 
little artifact material within the houses. Much of his 
interest seems to have been directed towards graves 
located in several places on the island, some of which 
contained considerable quantities of artifacts. 
Unfortunately, the Peabody Museum collection is sim- 
ply registered as from "Nukasujuktok Island," with no 
indication as to which parts of the material derive 
from the house excavations versus the graves, or to 
which graves the material belongs. Strong's fieldnotes 
and photographs can be used to associate a very few 
artifacts with specific graves, but over 90% of the 
material must be regarded as of uncertain prove- 
nience. Nonetheless, given his comments on the 
paucity of artifacts within the excavated houses it is 
likely that much of the museum collection is derived 
from the graves. Strong's fieldnotes suggest some 
items excavated by him are either not present in the 
Peabody Museum material or were never collected and 
brought south, possibly because they were regarded 
as too "modern" (e.g., European ceramics and an iron 
shovel). The seven sod houses at Nukasusutok-8 are 



^Strong's and Kaplan's (1983:470) house numbering is identical for Houses 1 and 2, but Kaplan's Houses 3, 4, and 5 
correspond to Strong's Houses 5, 6, and 7, respectively. 



POST-CONTACT INUIT SETTLEMENT ON NUKASUSUTOK ISLAND 



225 





sea 



1 42/ Nukasusutok-8 site map. Based on W. D. Strong's 1928 field notes, with modifications. Used by permission, National 
Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution. 



arranged in two different groups (Figure 142). 
Houses 1 , 2 and 3 lie furthest from the modern shore- 
line and are built into the side of a steep slope, while 
Houses 4, 5, 6 and 7 are excavated into a relatively 
flat beach surface closer to the contemporary shore- 
line. Two house types are present. Houses 1, 2 and 5 
are large rectangular communal houses with long 
straight entrance passages; this form was common in 
the 1 8^^ century. They measure about 8 m along their 
rear walls and 7 m along their side walls. Houses 1 
and 5 have prominent midden deposits. Houses 6 and 
7 are smaller. House 6 measures 5 m along its side, 
while House 7 measures 6 m along its rear wall and 5 
m along its side walls, both have short entrances 
rather than long entrance passages. Kaplan 
(1 983:469) dates these structures to the 1 9^'^ century 
and Strong's field notes confirm this in referring to 
them as "regular board houses," in which were found 



an iron shovel and "pink plates." No size data are 
available for the currently "invisible" Houses 3 and 4. 
Strong's sketch map and his field note comments that 
iron and porcelain from House 4 indicate it is the 
same age as House 5 suggest that the former may 
have had communal house dimensions. This would 
increase the total of communal houses to at least 
four, which would be consistent with Moravian obser- 
vations of four occupied sod houses in the winter of 
1 776-77. House 3 was not tested by Strong so there 
are no chronological indicators. 

House 1 

Strong began the excavation of House 1 by digging a 
trench up the long entrance passage towards the front 
of the house. He refers to a thin and scattered midden 
deposit full of iron, brick, china, porcelain and cham- 
ber pot handles. These European objects were domi- 



226 



CHAPTER 1 1 




1 43/ Nukasusutok-8: overview towards the southwest, August 1928. W. D. Strong 
Collection, © Smithsonian Institution, National Anthropological Archives, Negative No. 
99-10590. 




144/ Nukasusutok-8: House 5 overview towards the southwest, August 1928. W. D 
Strong collection, © Smithsonian Institution, National Anthropological Archives, 
Negative No. 99-10591. 



nant to a depth of two or three feet (60-90 cm), at 
which point a frozen layer containing bone fragments 
was encountered. Strong's rough sl<etches and 
description suggest he exposed most of the house, but 
it is unclear if the back wall was completely excavated. 
The inside measurements of the long walls were 6.2 m 
and 6.6 m while the inside lengths of the short walls 
were 3.1 m and 3.8 m. The height of the stone walls 
was 60 cm while the depth of the house from the cen- 
ter of the floor to the top of the wall mound was 1 .2 
m. The entrance passage was 5.8 m long and up to 1 .0 
m deep. Near the center of the floor was a "pillar" of 



stones that Strong regarded as 
part of the roof support system. 
There was a stone sleeping plat- 
form on the rear-left side of the 
house (1.68 m wide, 15 cm 
high) and another platform of 
wood (1.2 m wide) on the rear- 
right side; between the two was 
a wooden flooring. The well-pre- 
served wooden superstructure 
(mostly spruce) collapsed onto 
the floor such that Strong 
reconstructs the roof supports 
as consisting of a hewed beam 
(1 5 by 1 5 cm) laid from back to 
front across the center of the 
house that provided support for 
smaller beams extending in 
from the wall tops. He also hints 
at traces of wooden walls. 

Strong provides only mini- 
mal descriptions of the artifacts 
found in the house. Half of a 
large soapstone lamp lay 
upside-down on the right hand 
platform. He notes a possible 
hammerstone ca. 30 cm deep in 
the midden near the end of the 
entrance passage, although his 
sketch maps do not indicate any excavation units 
there. From uncertain locations were: a few pieces of 
cut whalebone, at least three fragments of soapstone 
vessels, an ivory harpoon socket, a bone knife handle, 
a stone "chisel," chinaware fragments, nails, an iron 
axe and a gun butt-plate. Strong refers to the layers as 
"quite modern," noting there were more European 
goods here than at Hopedale, suggesting the 
Nukasusutok material was more recent. The hammer- 
stone, stone chisel, most of the ceramics and nails, the 
axe and the gun butt-plate are all missing from the 
Peabody Museum collection. 



POST-CONTACT INUIT SETTLEMENT ON NUKASUSUTOK ISLAND 



227 



House 5 

House 5 is the largest and most 
prominent house at the site 
(Figures 144 and 145). The 
structure was hastily and only 
partially excavated over a two 
day period. Strong records wall 
measurements of 8.2 m for the 
south wall, 8.0 m for the west, 
7.1 m for the north and 7.0 m 
for the east, and he measured 
the house depth at center as 1 .5 
m. The entrance passage is ca. 
7 m long. A raised wall mound 
up to 1 .2 m wide surrounds the 
structure. Sleeping platforms 
are visible along the back and 

one side wall. As in House 1 there is a central rock 
cluster. Strong reports very few finds in the front por- 
tion of the house. 

In 1992 a 70 by 70 cm test pit was placed in the 
midden near the end of the entrance passage. The test 
pit was excavated to a depth of ca. 50 cm below 
ground surface, using three naturally defined collec- 
tion levels. Level 1 (0-23 cm) was a highly humified soil 
zone with poorly preserved bone. Level 2 (23-36 cm) 
began where the deposit took on a more sandy/gravel- 
ly texture, which coincided with better bone preserva- 
tion and included mussel shell remains and wood frag- 
ments. Level 3 (36-50 cm) commenced with a clear 
stratigraphic break in the form of a thin (1 cm) contin- 
uous layer of fibrous peat. Beneath the peat was 3 cm 
of dark-stained beach gravel and sand with poorly pre- 
served bone, mussel shells and wood fragments. The 
excavation terminated at 50 cm within the basal yellow 
sand/gravel. 

The total thickness of the well-defined bone-bear- 
ing deposit was only 25 cm (somewhat thicker if the 
poorly preserved material in the humus-root zone is 
included). This relatively thin deposit suggests an 
intensive but short-lived occupation. 




1 45/ Nukcisusutok-8: House 5 excavation towards the west, August 1928. W. D. Strong 
collection, © Smithsonian Institution, National Anthropological Archives, Negative No. 
99-10593. 



Artifacts recovered from the midden test pit con- 
sisted of: 

Level 1 : ■ one hand wrought nail 
Level 2: • 26 fragments of earthenware ceramic 
• two hand wrought nails 

■ one round iron shaft 

■ one iron knife tip with adhering baleen 
Level 3: ■ one soapstone vessel sherd 

The fragments of earthenware ceramic are diffi- 
cult to identify, but small remnants of green glaze and 
microscopic examination of the paste indicated simi- 
larities to French St. Onge earthenware, as classified in 
the Parks Canada comparative collection housed at the 
Archaeology Unit, Memorial University. According to 
Auger (1991:40), St. Onge earthenware was manufac- 
tured between 1700 and 1750. The three hand 
wrought nails, round iron shaft and iron knife tip are 
illustrated in Figure 146. These few finds suggest an 
18th century dating, but there is not much to go on. 
The thin Level 3 deposit under the peat raises the pos- 
sibility of an earlier component. 

Faunal material from the midden test pit was iden- 
tified by Ann Rick of the National Museum of Nature, 
Ottawa. Table 58 lists the number of identified speci- 



228 



CHAPTER 1 1 




b c d e 



o / Z 




1 46/ Nukasusutok-8: House 5, 1992 midden test pit collec- 
tion, a: iron l<nife tip: b: round iron shaft; c-e: nails. 

mens (NISP) and minimum numbers of individuals 
(MNI) for each taxon. These data cannot be considered 
to be particularly representative given the limited 
scope of the testing and the hand-picking collection 
technique, but they are broadly consistent with 
Strong's observation that there were considerable 
amounts of seal bone at Nukasusutok-8. Relatively few 
of the seal bones were identifiable as to species, but 
harp seal is represented less than one might expect, 
considering Taylor's (1974:51) observation that com- 
munal houses were generally situated near fall harp 
sealing locations. The inability to distinguish clearly 
between harbor and ringed seal is a problem, but the 
frequency of possible harbor seals is interesting in 
relation to Wollett's (1999:380) observation that the 
1 S'^'^ century communal houses in Hamilton Inlet have 
high harbor seal to ringed seal ratios, which he attrib- 
utes to more moderate sea ice conditions. The relative 
lack of caribou is not surprising, given the distance to 
inner bay and interior caribou wintering areas. One 
might have expected more bird material given the 
abundance of wildfowl among the small islands 
east/southeast of Nukasusutok during the spring and 
fall, but birds may have been exploited mostly from 
spring to fall tent camps. The occurrence of fox is con- 
sistent with the presence of several large stone fox 
traps elsewhere on the island. 



Table 58. Fauna from the House 5 Midden at 
Nukasusutok-8. 



TAXON 


NISP 


MNI 


Seal 


144 


9 


Phoca sp. 


4 


2 


harp seal (Phoca groenlandica) 1 1 


ringed seal (Phoca hispida) 


9 


2 


harp/ringed seal 1 1 


harbor (Phoca vitLilina)/nnged seal 


1 1 


5 


Artiodactyl 1 1 


Caribou (Rangifer tarandus) 1 1 


Canis sp. 


3 


1 


Dog (Canis familiaris) 1 1 


Wolf (Canis lupus) 1 1 


Red Fox 


3 


1 


Arctic fox/red fox 1 1 


Unidentified mammal 


49 




Unidentified mammal fragments 


114 




Bird 


Murre/Razorbill (Uria sp./AIca sp.) 


1 


1 


Unidentified bird 


1 




Unidentified bird/mammal 


4 




Unknown (possibly baleen) 


4 




TOTAL 


354 





Strong's Grave Collections 

Strong investigated six graves on Nukasusutok Island. 
Of these, only one is located relatively close to the sod 
house village at Nukasusutok-8. Some of the others 
can be located approximately using Strong's descrip- 
tions and photographs. 

Grave 1 Strong reports this as a rock cairn near the 
shore, 200 m west of Nukasusutok-8. The individual 
was an adult whose head was positioned towards the 
north, but the bones were too decayed to save. The 
only other grave contents were a few boards. 

Grave 2 Crave 2 was situated on a high ridge 800 m 
north of Nukasusutok-8; Figure 147 probably illus- 
trates this feature. The cairn was almost round and 



POST-CONTACT INUIT SETTLEMENT ON NUKASUSUTOK ISLAND 



229 



was well-constructed of slabs placed over the grave 
chamber with counterbalanced boulders on top. The 
chamber was 2 m long, 25-50 cm wide, with the head 
positioned towards the northwest. The skeletal materi- 
al consisted of a broken skull and mandible, which 
Strong assumed to be female. Two meters to the 
southeast lay a gift cache covering a decayed round 
wooden box containing "many" glass beads and a 
small (32 mm long) perforated soapstone model of a 
polar bear. 

Grave 3 Strong specifies the location of this grave as 
lying on a narrow neck between two small bays on the 
northwest end of Nukasusutok Island. This may be L-2 
at Nukasusutok-7 on Pumialuk Point (Figure 16). The 
grave chamber was 1.6 m long and the head of the 
individual was oriented to the east. The human 
remains consisted of a broken skull and long bones. 
Broken brass and iron objects lay in the chamber. A 
gift cache connected with the foot of the grave con- 
tained only broken metal objects. 

Crave 4 This feature was situated on a ridge 200 m 
north of Crave 3, the location providing a good view up 



The Bridges Passage and towards Paul Island. The 
grave consisted of boulders piled alongside an even 
larger boulder. The head was oriented towards the 
north or northwest. The skull was large and accompa- 
nied by a mandible and unusually massive long bones; 
Strong assumes the individual was male. Crave goods 
were piled at the foot of the cairn and along its east 
side. They included the remains of a kayak, a complete 
wooden kayak paddle with one bone paddle tip, a 
wooden harpoon shaft with an ivory socket, bone fore- 
shafts, many iron points and bird darts, a crooked iron 
knife, a metal jigger, two sheet iron pieces, a box, a 
kettle and a whetstone. 

Grave 5 Crave 5 was located on a ridge parallel with 
that upon which Crave 4 was placed. It was a small 
stone cairn with an inner chamber 1.6 m long, 45-80 
cm wide, with the head positioned towards the south- 
southeast. Skeletal remains consisted of a fragmented 
skull, mandible and long bones; Strong considered this 
to be a woman's grave. A gift cache near the head con- 
tained a "considerable" amount of metal, including an 
ulu and "many" glass beads. If the cataloging sequence 
can be taken to indicate things found together, as 




147/ Nukasusutok Island: probably Crave 2, August 1928. W. D. Strong collection, © Smithsonian Institution, National 
Anthropological Archives, Negative No. 99- 1 0592. 



230 



CHAPTER 1 1 



seems to be the case for Crave 
4, then many or all of the brass 
headbands and pendants as well 
as the perforated and unperfo- 
rated pewter spoons may have 
been derived from Grave 5. 



Grave 6 There is little location- 
al information for this grave 
other than it lay up the hill 
behind Nukasusutok-8 and near 
two sliding door fox traps. The 
grave consisted of a large, well- 
built cairn with an inner cham- 
ber 2 m long, 30-60 cm wide. The skeleton was badly 
decayed except for the skull and a fragmentary 
mandible; the head was oriented towards the north. A 
gift cache positioned 2 m to the south contained the 
rim of a kayak, a board, an iron ulu and iron pyrites. 
One meter west of the grave were three small rocks in 
a line, beyond which was a small cache containing a 
beaten iron spearhead. 

Description of the Artifact Material 

Given the uncertainties regarding the find-contexts of 
Strong's artifact collection, a general description of the 
material in terms of activity categories will be present- 
ed. Assessment of the Peabody Museum catalog in 
relation to the Grave 4 goods photographed in the field 
by Strong suggests that at least some of the items 
associated with an individual grave feature were cata- 
loged sequentially. Although it is impossible to draw 
reliable boundaries within the catalog sequence, this 
hint will be used to suggest some possible contextual 
associations. 

Hunting-Fishing Tools Table 59 outlines the range of 
hunting-fishing tools in the collection. Many of the 
implements associated with hunting-fishing activity 
were probably derived from Crave 4, apparently a male 
interment. Only a short fragment of the harpoon shaft 



— — — — — — '— ^^^^^ -la^e^^^ 






■ -~ J 




a 






b 





148/ W. D. Strong Nukasusutol< collection hunting and transportation implements, 
a: kayak paddle tip (Grave 4), b: harpoon foreshaft. © R. S. Peabody Museum of 
Archaeology, Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts. All Rights Reserved. 



remains, consisting of the distal end of the wooden 
shaft to which is affixed a weathered ivory socket 
piece. Three bone foreshafts might be among those 
attributed to Grave 4 by Strong. One of the them 
(Figure 148:b) is a composite harpoon foreshaft made 
on a walrus rib that has been sawed in two to create a 
tongue and groove flange; the two components were 
then fastened with iron rivets. Another is a lance fore- 
shaft made on a walrus rib (Figure 149:b) that has a 
distal slot for an endblade and a conical base with two 
drill holes for lashing to a wooden shaft. The third 
example is also a lance foreshaft made on a walrus rib 
(Figure 1 50:a); it retains a fragment of an iron end- 
blade riveted into its distal slot. 



Table 59. Hunting-Fishing Tools from 
the Strong Collection. 



Harpoon foreshafts 



1 



Lance foreshafts 



Harpoon sockets 



Iron arrow points 



Iron bird dart points 



Iron lance points 



Wound pins 



Spools (bladder inflation?) 



Jiggers 



Gunflints 



POST-CONTACT INUIT SETTLEMENT ON NUKASUSUTOK ISLAND 



231 



Almost certainly from Crave 4 are seven Iron bird- 
dart points (Figure 151:b-h). These are thin (5 mm) 
hammered square iron shafts, some of which have a 
single small barb. The points are similar to those illus- 
trated in the well-known 1 724 painting of Creenlandic 
Inuit Pooq and Qiperoq (Cullov 1997:356). Probably 
from Grave 4 are four iron arrow points (Figure 1 52:a- 
d), all with flat blades, a squarish hammered shaft and 
pointed proximal ends. R. Jordan (1978:182) illus- 
trates a similar arrow point, but with a longer stem, 
from an 18*^^ century context at Eskimo Island in 
Hamilton Inlet. A long (40 cm) lance point made on a 
hammered square iron bar (8 mm thick) may also 




149/ W. D. Strong Nukasusutok collection: hunting 
implements, a iron lance point, b bone lance foreshaft. 
© R. S. Peabody Museum of Archaeology, Phillips 
Academy, Andover, Massachusetts. All Rights Reserved. 




1 50/ W. D. Strong Nukasusutok collection: hunting, trans- 
portation and household implements, a: bone lance fore- 
shaft with iron point fragment; b: bone paddle tip; c: ivory 
harpoon socket: d: wooden wound pin: e: wood and bone 
ulu handle, f: whalebone sled shoe. © R. S. Peabody 
Museum of Archaeology, Phillips Academy, Andover, 
Massachusetts. All Rights Reserved. 

belong to this grave (Figure 149:a). Definitely from 
Crave 4 is a jigger consisting of three iron hooks 
weighted with lead (Figure 1 53:b). 

Among the remainder of the material for which 
find-context is uncertain there are two harpoon shaft 
sockets. One (Figure 1 50:c) is made of heavily weath- 
ered ivory, while the other is a composite implement of 
bone, consisting of two halves fastened with four iron 
rivets. One of these could be from Strong's excavation 
at House 1 . The wound pin (Figure 1 50:d) is made of 
wood. An iron triangular point with a central rivet 
(Figure 1 52:e) is probably a lance tip intended to be 
mounted in foreshafts such as those illustrated in 
Figures 149:b and 1 50:a. A wooden spool (Figure 
1 54:a) may be of European origin, but perhaps it could 
have been used as a bladder inflation nozzle, since it 
is pierced through the middle. The single gunflint is a 
dark gray specimen made on a blade (Figure 1 61 :a). Its 
square shape and trapezoidal cross-section suggest it 
is of English manufacture, from the late 1 700s 
onwards (Luedtke 1999:37-39). Since the gunflint is 



232 



CHAPTER 1 1 




1 51/ W. D. Strong Nukasusutok collection: hunting and 
liouseliold implements, a: iron saw. b-h: iron bird dart 
points (probably Crave 4); i: iron curved knife (Crave 4); 
j: iron knife blade. © R. S. Peabody Museum of 
Archaeology, Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts. 
All Rights Reserved. 



cataloged in the middle of a sequence running from 
soapstone vessel sherds to cut whalebone fragments it 
may be from one of the houses. 

Household Tools The category household tools 
includes a mix of traditional Inuit and European 
forms, listed in Table 60. Among the traditional 
implements are a probable snow-beater made on a 
walrus rib. Of the four iron knives, two consist of 
bone handles with fragments of inset iron blades 
(one is illustrated in Figure 1 53:a); one of these could 
be from House 1. The third is a 35 cm long, 2 cm 
wide blade (Figure 1 5 1 :j). The fourth is the blade of a 
curved knife together with an iron ring for fastening 




1 52/ W. D. Strong Nukasusutok collection: hunting and 
household implements, a-d: arrow points (probably 
Crave 4); e: iron lance point with rivet, f iron ulu blade. 
© R. S. Peabody Museum of Archaeology, Phillips 
Academy. Andover, Massachusetts. All Rights Reserved. 



it to a European-style handle (Figure 1 51 :i); this spec- 
imen is definitely from Grave 4. There are three ulu 
handles in the collection. One of these (Figure 1 51 :e) 
has a wooden palm element and a bone stem, anoth- 
er consists of a bone stem element with iron rivets 
and an iron blade fragment, while the third is made 
of wood. Three items might be considered to be 
wood and bone-working tools: an iron saw blade 
(Figure 151:a), an iron drill bit and a small iron 
wedge. An iron hook (Figure 1 53:c) could be kettle 
hook. Eight pieces of pyrite are present: although 
Strong mentions their occurrence in Crave 6 it is 
uncertain whether all were associated with the burial. 
Presumably, they were used as strike-a lights. At least 
one of the three schist whetstones was associated 
with a grave. A small brass ring with a knurled outer 
surface is probably a tailor's ring thimble. A single 
unmodified pewter spoon is included in the domestic 
tool category; the modified spoons are discussed 
below in the decorative category. 



POST-CONTACT INUIT SETTLEMENT ON NUKASUSUTOK ISLAND 



233 




liOBERTS. I'EABODV MLSEL'M 



/ 53/ W. D. Strong Nukasusutok collection: fishing and 
household implements, a bone knife handle with iron blade 
fragment, b iron and lead jigger (Crave 4); c: iron kettle 
hook. © R. S. Peabody Museum of Archaeology, Phillips 
Academy, Andover, Massachusetts. All Rights Reserved. 

Table 60. Household Tools from 
the Strong Collection. 



Snow beaters 1 

Iron knives 4 

Ulu handles 3 

Iron ulu blades 1 

Iron saw blades 1 

Iron drill bits 1 

Iron wedges 1 

Iron hooks 1 

Pyrites 8 

Whetstones 3 

Brass thimble 1 

Pewter spoons (unmodified) 1 

Wooden platters 1 

Soapstone vessels 1 2 

European ceramics 7 



Different types of containers are represented. A 
large, partially preserved, oval wooden platter (Figure 
1 55) bears a scarf-joint with small nail holes around its 
outer edge, indicating the platter was the top or bot- 




154/ W. D. Strong Nukasusutok collection: wooden imple- 
ments, a: wooden spool; b: drilled wood with baleen lash- 
ing; c: curved wooden slat. © R. S. Peabody Museum of 
Archaeology, Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts. 
All Rights Reserved. 




/ 55/ W. D. Strong Nukasusutok collection: wooden box 
component. © R. S. Peabody Museum of Archaeology, 
Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts. All Rights 
Reserved. 



234 



CHAPTER 1 1 



torn of a wooden box. Quite speculatively, it might be 
a remnant of the wooden box containing glass beads 
and the small soapstone polar bear found in the gift 
cache associated with Crave 2. On the other hand, it 
could have served a more mundane function as a meat 
platter. There are 12 fragments of soapstone vessels. 
Since Strong does not refer to any in the Nukasusutok 
grave material while he does so for graves elsewhere in 
the Main area, it is likely that all of them were derived 
from the house excavations. As noted previously, half 
of a large lamp was found on the platform of House 1 ; 
this is probably the specimen illustrated in Figure 
1 56:b. The latter has a rim up to 25 mm thick and a 
drilled repair hole on the bottom/middle of the vessel. 
There is also most of a small oval lamp, at least 1 3 cm 
in diameter (Figure 1 56:a). Neither of the lamp frag- 
ments has a wick stand. The rest of the vessel frag- 
ments range from 1 1-20 mm thick; two are illustrated 
in Figure 157. 

Given Strong's field note comments on the fre- 
quency of European ceramics in his house excavations, 
it is strange that only seven fragments of European 
ceramics are present in the collection. Six of these are 
coarse reddish earthenware with white carbonate 
inclusions, some pieces with a curved surface bearing 
convolutions. The remaining specimen is a lump of 
brick-like material. 

Transportation-Related Items Transportation related 
items consist of one kayak paddle blade fragment, 
two kayak paddle tips and seven sled runners. All 
that remains of the Grave 4 kayak paddle is the bro- 
ken wooden paddle blade illustrated in Figure 148:a. 
The two kayak paddle tips are made of bone; one is 
shown in Figure 1 50:b. One of these two implements 
must be from Grave 4. The seven sled runners (one 
illustrated in Figure 1 50:0 are all made of whalebone, 
are mostly 39-56 mm wide and display varying num- 
bers of drill holes; two were curved for use at the 
front of a sled. It is possible the runners are from one 
or more of the houses or middens. 




1 56/ W. D. Strong Nukasusutok Collection: soapstone 
lamps. © R. S. Peabody Museum of Archaeology, Phillips 
Academy, Andover, Massachusetts. All Rights Reserved. 




157/ W. D. Strong Nukasusutok collection soapstone 
vessel rim fragments. © R. S. Peabody Museum of 
Archaeology, Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts. 
All Rights Reserved. 



Decorative Items A significant number of items in the 
collection could be considered decorative; these are 
listed in Table 61. It is unclear from Strong's field- 
notes, but the copper/brass head bands and pendants 



POST-CONTACT INUIT SETTLEMENT ON NUKASUSUTOK ISLAND 



235 




1 58/ W. D. Strong Nukasusutok collection: copper/brass 
decorative items, a-b: headbands; c-f pendants. © R. S. 
Peabody Museum of Archaeology, Phillips Academy, 
Andover, Massachusetts. All Rights Reserved. 




111 in s- n.Anonv MustLM 



1 59/ W. D. Strong Nukasusutok collection: decorative 
items, a: 86 glass beads and soapstone polar bear sculp- 
ture, b: 58 lead pendants, c: 672 glass beads (probably 
Grave 5): d-e: perforated pewter spoons. © R. S. Peabody 
Museum of Archaeology, Phillips Academy, Andover, 
Massachusetts. All Rights Reserved. 



may have been derived from Crave 3 and/or Crave 5. 
The collection contains what are probably two com- 
plete headbands (Figure 1 58:a,b) as well as three large 





\ 



f g h i j 



R.S Ptjbcdv Muscu 



/ 60/ W. D. Strong Nukasusutok collection: bone decorative 
items, a: ivory pins: b: bone comb: c: bird bone beads. 
© R. S. Peabody Museum of Archaeology, Phillips Academy, 
Andover, Massachusetts. All Rights Reserved. 



portions thereof and two probable fragments. The 
headbands range between 20-29 mm wide; one has 
four small perforations along one edge while another 
has two perforations. The pendants are made on very 
thin copper/brass sheets; two of these are circular with 
perforations (a trace of baleen twine is present on 
one), while two others are fish-shaped (Figure 1 58:c-0. 
The headbands and pendants, together with glass 
beads, formed a decorative headdress for Inuit 
women. A perfect illustration of this arrangement is 
provided in a 1 773 drawing by English artist Nathaniel 
Dance of a Labrador Inuit woman, Caubvick (Figure 
162), made during her stay in England (Lysaght 
1971:83). Caubvick is portrayed wearing a headband 



236 



CHAPTER 1 1 



and fish-shaped pendants are attached to her hair near 
her ears, with strings of beads extending down from 
the pendants. 

Table 61. Decorative Items from the Strong 



Collection. 

Copper/brass headbands 5 

Copper/brass band fragment 2 

Copper/brass pendants 6 

Glass trade beads 767 

Polar bear bead 1 

Lead pendants 80 

Pewter spoons, modified 12 

Bone beads 49 

Combs 2 

Bone pins 4 



Strong's collection also contains 80 small cast 
lead pendants, 58 of which are strung as a "bracelet" 
in the Peabody collection (Figure 1 59:b). Most of these 
exhibit either two or three globular segments, some 
have two perforations, others only one, others none. In 
the 1880s these items were used by Ungava Inuit as 
part of the front fringe on parkas (Turner 1894:21 1), 
but combined with glass beads they were also used as 
components of amulets attached to shaman dolls 
(Turner 1894:196-198; see also Karklins 1992:195- 
1 99). According to Hawkes (191 6:39) these ornaments 
were made by melting down pewter spoons and pour- 
ing the molten material into steatite moulds. But 
pewter spoons were themselves used as ornaments for 
parkas. Their handles were removed and the remaining 
handle stub was perforated such that the spoons could 
be sewn onto the front of coats (Turner 1894:211, 
Karklins 1992:195-198). Twelve modified spoons are 
found in the Strong collection; two are illustrated in 
Figure 1 59:d, e. 

The glass trade beads in Strong's collection were 
derived from Craves 2 and 5, both of which Strong 
considered to be women's graves. Besides their use in 
decorative headdresses and amulets, beads were also 




R.S. pL'.ibody Museum 



161/ W. D. Strong Nukasusutok collection lithic imple- 
ments, a: English gun flint, b Ramah chert stemmed point. 
© R. S. Peabody Museum of Archaeology, Phillips Academy, 
Andover, Massachusetts. All Rights Reserved. 

used extensively to decorate skin coats (Karklins 
1992:195-199, Turner 1894:211; see Caubvick in 
Figure 162). The beads were described following the 
typology developed by Kidd and Kidd (1970), but lack- 
ing their color diagrams and a formal color code chart, 
the color designations provided here are "best guess" 
matches with their system. Where relevant the type 
designations below include reference to Brain's (1979) 
modification of the Kidd typology (e.g., Ilal4/IIA1, 
Kidd/Brain). Of the total 873 beads, only 4 or 5 are 
wire wound, the rest are drawn. 

It seems likely that the 672 beads cataloged as 
1 7.1 51 4 (Figure 1 59:c) are derived from Crave 5. They 
are all circular tube beads (class lla) and several colors 
are represented: 

• opaque white (Hal 4/IIAl ): small= 395, 
medium= 22 

• clear brite navy (Ila56/IIA6): small= 78 

■ clear light blue (Ila41 7/IIA7?): small= 83 

■ opaque black (Ila7/IIA5): small= 35 

• opaque red (Ila2^): small= 26 

• clear emerald green (Ila27/IIA1 5): small=l 5 

• translucent sea green (lla): small= 9 

• opaque amber (Hal 9): small= 6, medium= 1 

• opaque dark burgundy red (lla): small= 1 

• clear rose red (lla): small= 1 



POST-CONTACT INUIT SETTLEMENT ON NUKASUSUTOK ISLAND 



237 




162/ A 1 773 drawing of Caubvick by Nathaniel Dance. 
Note headband, fish-shaped pendants and glass beads on 
pendants. From the Knatchbull Portrait Collection. 
Photograph © Photographic Survey, Courtauld Institute of 
Art, London. 



Catalog number 1 7.1 51 3, from either Crave 2 or 
5, consists of 52 beads, some of which are found on 
their original strings in blue/white bead groups. All are 
small, circular, monochrome tube beads (class lla): 
opaque white (Ilal4/IIA1) = 25, translucent brite navy 
blue = 16, uncertain colour (probably white) = 8, clear 
emerald green (Ila27/IIA1 5) = 2, and opaque red = 1. 
Catalog number 17.1531, from either Crave 2 or 5, 
includes four groups of beads on their original string, 
also ordered in blue and white groups (suggesting they 
are from the same context as 1 7.1 51 3) as well as loose 
beads. There are 60 small, circular, monochrome tube 
beads (class lla), of which 26 are opaque white 
(Hal 4/IIAl )and 34 clear Brite navy (Ila56/IIA6). There is 
also one large, round, monochrome, opaque black 
tube bead (Ila6/W1A6), as well as two large mono- 



chrome ground beads. Of the latter, one is clear amber 
(resembles Wllc5/WIIA4) and the other opaque black 
(resembles Wild /WIIA7). 

The small (32 mm long) soapstone model of a 
polar bear is perforated and strung on a museum fab- 
ricated bracelet consisting of 86 glass beads (Figure 
1 59:a). Strong makes no mention of a bracelet in his 
fieldnotes, so it is unclear whether this was their orig- 
inal arrangement or a post-facto museum interpreta- 
tion. The beads consist of two large-sized round tube 
beads, one black opaque (Ila6/W1A6), one amber 
translucent, two medium-sized circular tube beads 
(class lla), both light blue, and 82 small-to-medium- 
sized circular tube beads (class lla), of which 76 are 
white (Ilal4/IIA1), six dark blue and two light blue. 

Dating these beads is difficult because they are vir- 
tually all common "seed beads" that were in use for 
extended periods of time. Brain's (1979) dating of the 
bead types mentioned above ranges from 1600-1890, 
with slightly more restricted dates for types 
WIIC5/WIIA4 (1680-1833), Ila41/IIA7 (1600-1836), 
Ilal4/IIA1 (1600-1836) and Ila6/W1A6 (1700-1890). 
Some of these bead types were present in 18th century 
Inuit houses in west Creenland (Cullov 1997:278-291), 
but the Nukasusutok material is more restricted in its 
representation of types, completely lacking polychrome 
specimens and with only 0.4-0.5% wire wound types. 

The collection also contains decorative items of 
bone. There are 49 beads made of small bird bones, 
mostly in the range of 1.8-2.0 cm long (Figure 160:e- 
j). There are two combs, one a near complete specimen 
of bone with two opposed tooth rows (Figure 160:d), 
the other a fragment made of wood. Finally, the collec- 
tion contains four small (4.5 cm) spoon-shaped ivory 
pins of uncertain function (Figure 160:a-c), possibly 
amulets to be attached to clothing. 

Miscellaneous Metal The collection contains metal frag- 
ments not identifiable to specific implement types. 
These include 14 iron fragments, an iron bar, two lead 
fragments, a pewter fragment and a copper/brass sheet. 



238 



CHAPTER 1 1 



Miscellaneous Organic Materials Table 62 outlines the 
miscellaneous organic materials in the collection. Most 
of the bone is modified whalebone. Modification con- 
sists of cutting, sawing and drilling; a major desired 
end product was sled runners. Most of this material 
was probably derived from the house or midden exca- 
vations. The five fragments of animal skin are not iden- 
tifiable as to their functional origin as clothing or 
equipment. One piece exhibits hair on one side and 
has stitching perforations. 



Table 62. Miscellaneous Organic Materials from 
the Strong Collection. 



Bone 


Modified bone 


2 


Unmodified bone 1 


Modified antler 


3 


Modified whale bone 


19 


Unmodified whale bone 1 


Unmodified baleen 


4 


Animal skin fragments 


5 


Wood 




Modified wood 


1 3 


Modified birch bark 


6 


Unmodified birch bark 1 



There are two main types of modified wood. One 
consists of flat pieces with drill holes, sometimes 
countersunk in grooves. Figure 1 54:b shows two 
connected pieces of flat wood; the upper portion has 
a line of ten drill holes, the middle portion has eight 
drill holes through which run remnants of baleen 
twine. The other type consists of curved slats (ca. 4 
cm wide) with nail holes, resembling barrel hoops 
(Figure 1 54:c). Of the six pieces of modified birch- 
bark, four are perforated and sewn together with 
thin (3.5 mm) birchbark strips. Another piece has 
been cut into a curious "wrench" shape with a circu- 
lar hole at each end. 




Other Items Not included within the previous cate- 
gories are three flakes of quartz and one of Ramah 
chert. There is also a Ramah chert projectile point of 
stemmed or wide side-notched form with a complete- 
ly flaked dorsal surface, but ventral retouch limited to 
the margins (Figure 161:b). It bears a general resem- 
blance to Late Dorset forms, but the Point Revenge 
component at Koliktalik-5, north of Nukasusutok 
Island, has a somewhat similar specimen (Fitzhugh 
1978b:161, Figure 10c). There are also two natural 
stones, including an iron-rich concretion and a water- 
rolled pebble, as well as two scallop shells. 

Dating Nukasusutok-8 and the Strong Grave 
Collection 

Taylor's documentary sources indicate the 
Nukasusutok-8 village was occupied from 1772-1782 
and passing references in the Moravian Periodical 
Accounts to "heathen" Inuit residing on the island con- 
tinue until 1811. The two smaller structures at 
Nukasusutok-8, houses 6 and 7, might pertain to the 
early 19^^ century occupation, but the later written 
sources could also refer to the small sod house at 
Nukasusutok-7. Archaeological confirmation of such 



POST-CONTACT INUIT SETTLEMENT ON NUKASUSUTOK ISLAND 



239 



dating is difficult given an inability to specify find-con- 
texts for much of the Strong collection and Strong's 
apparent neglect in collecting European ceramics and 
other "recent" artifacts from the houses. If the frag- 
mentary earthenware ceramics from a test pit in the 
House 5 midden actually are French St. Onge ware, this 
would imply a production date from 1 700-1 750 (Auger 
1 991 AO). Strong's field notes mention that a gun butt- 
plate was found in House-1 , but it is missing from the 
collection. If this item represents the presence of 
firearms, as opposed to a purloined piece of metal, it 
may indicate a date later than 1 782, since it was at that 
time that guns were first purchased from a trader at 
Chateau Bay in southern Labrador and then distributed 
northwards (Hiller 1971:93). The presence of a gun 
flint might support this. If the House 5 midden test pit 
stratigraphy is considered, the thin Level 3 deposit 
underneath a peat layer raises the possibility of a com- 
ponent that considerably pre-dates the mission period 
(i.e., pre-1 771). 

The contextual information from the graves is mar- 
ginally better, at least for Craves 4 and 5. The glass 
beads from Craves 2 and 5 are generally consistent with 
1 8'^'^ century types, but a more precise chronological 
reckoning is problematic. It is possible that some of the 
Nukasusutok graves pre-date the historically document- 
ed communal houses. The head bands and pendants of 
copper/brass and the lead pendants are similar to those 
reported by Bird (1945:1 75-1 77) from a grave at 
Iglosoataligarsuk near Hopedale, which also contained a 
French copper coin dated 1 643. The coin provides a ter- 
minus post quern date for the grave. Crave 4 at 
Nukasusutok was associated with kayak remains and a 
large quantity of metal items was placed alongside the 
grave. A kayak burial found at Kikkertavak-1 , ca. 25 km 
west of Nukasusutok Island, included a wooden tool box 
containing 1 50 items, among them harpoons and knives 
with iron blades. Kaplan (1 983:235) dated Kikkertavak 
to the 1 7^^ century. At Rose Island in Sagiek Bay, graves 
containing copper/brass headbands and pendants, 
glass trade beads, European iron and other goods, as 

240 



well as kayak parts, were dated to the 18'^'' and early 
1 9^*^ centuries (Way 1 978: 1 34). With these slim compar- 
ative data and the poor contextual information for 
Strong's collection, the Nukasusutok graves might sim- 
ply be time-bracketed between ca. 1650 and 1810. 

Graves and Society 

Civen the paucity of contextual information for the 
Nukasusutok graves the possibilities of assemblage 
analysis are minimal, either for comparisons between 
the Nukasusutok graves themselves or for compar- 
isons with graves from elsewhere in Labrador. Be that 
as it may, the question of the social context must still 
be addressed, if only in a rudimentary fashion. 

The male kayak burial at Crave 4 with its substan- 
tial quantity of metal goods suggests either a relative- 
ly high status individual involved in the circulation sys- 
tem for European goods or a prominent hunter with 
easy access to a metal tool kit. Nearby was Crave 5, a 
woman's burial with a substantial amount of decora- 
tive metal and glass trade beads. This grave signals a 
woman with access to quantities of European goods 
and a status broadly equivalent to the male grave. 
Crave 2, also a woman's burial, was situated in a 
prominent location on the hill north of the communal 
house settlement at Nukasusutok-8 and had a gift 
cache containing many glass trade beads and a small 
perforated soapstone polar bear sculpture. The grave 
goods, as well as the prominent positioning of the bur- 
ial and its independence from a male grave, suggest a 
form of social recognition. 

Information on grave associations from other 
parts of Labrador is limited, but it underlines the 
impression that certain individuals were marked by 
special treatment involving the deposition of unusual 
amounts of European goods. As noted previously, 
Junius Bird (1945:175-177) reported a grave at 
Iglosoataligarsuk near Hopedale that contained a cop- 
per/brass head band fragment along with a lance 
foreshaft and socket, 27 flat lead pendants, 75 globu- 
lar lead pendants, glass beads, a pipe stem fragment, 

CHAPTER 1 1 



pyrites and a French copper coin dated 1 643. A grave 
collection purchased by Bird in Hopedale contained 
three or four copper/brass headbands (the most com- 
plete specimen virtually identical to those from 
Nukasusutok), six copper/brass pendants, a harpoon 
or lance foreshaft, bone handles, seal teeth, a beaver 
incisor, a wooden dish fragment, worked ivory pieces, 
part of an ivory needle case, an iron harpoon point, 
pyrites and a quartz fragment. Also noted earlier was 
the presumed 17'^'^ century kayak burial at 
Kikkertavak-1 , west of Nukasusutok Island, that 
included a wooden tool box containing 1 50 items, 
among them harpoons and knives with iron blades 
(Kaplan 1983:235). 

The largest sample of Inuit grave material from 
Labrador comes from SagIek Bay. A total of 78 graves 
was investigated on Rose Island and another two on 
Upernavik Island (Way 1978). Of these, 78 were pre- 
modern, presumably dating ca. 1725-1850 (Way 
1978:134). They consisted of 29 female graves, 22 
male graves, 7 with both sexes and 19 of indetermi- 
nate sex. A total of 21 graves had no burial goods; 
there is no particular sex/age association to this and 
looting cannot be discounted. For the purposes of the 
present discussion, single male and female graves 
were coded for the presence/absence of individual 
grave good types and subjected to quantitative analy- 
ses, but no clear patterns were apparent. This was 
partly attributable to the high diversity of items 
deposited in the graves (60 types were coded) and the 
resulting infrequent occurrence of individual item 
types, but it was also a consequence of item types 
being associated with both sexes. Male exclusive 
associations included: kayak parts, bow drill parts and 
wooden dolls (four male figures, one female). Female 
exclusive items included ulus, copper/brass head- 
bands and copper/brass pendants. Female graves also 
contained most of the glass trade beads and tended 
to have most of the animal bone deposits. 

Overall, 18 of the SagIek graves contained 
European metal objects or traces thereof, totaling 51 



pieces and ranging from 1-10 items per grave. Class 
trade beads were present in seven graves, totaling 
1 78 items, but 1 1 8 of these were from a single grave. 
Of the other graves, one had 44 beads, another 12, 
while the remaining four had only one each (summa- 
rized from Way 1978:322-32 7). These figures sug- 
gest the frequency of European items deposited in 
the graves was not particularly high overall and that 
they were concentrated with a small number of indi- 
viduals. Schledermann's (1976:28-29) excavation of 
1 8'^'^ to 1 9'^^ century communal houses at the nearby 
Ikkusik site produced a range of European goods, but 
also not in great quantity. 

If the SagIek graves are ranked in terms of total 
numbers of grave goods and the amount of European 
items present, one burial stands out clearly. Crave 24 
was a woman's burial containing a whalebone comb, 
four copper/brass head bands, a copper/brass pen- 
dant, two copper/brass disks, a copper/brass ring, a 
copper/brass strip, 3 ivory pendants, 29 lead pen- 
dants, 118 glass beads, 49 shell beads, 9 wooden 
beads and 11 stone beads (Way 1 978:85-86, 323- 
324). Assuming the large sample of graves is fairly 
representative (though it may not be). Crave 24 sug- 
gests that certain women had roles that enabled them 
to access significant quantities of European goods 
and that this access was associated with some form 
of status distinction. 

These comparative data indicate the 
Nukasusutok graves are similar in pattern to others in 
central and northern Labrador, but that Craves 4 and 
5, and to a lesser extent Crave 2, are particularly rich 
in their deposits of European goods. The inhabitants 
of Nukasusutok Island seem to have had better 
access to European materials than was the case in 
SagIek Bay. Both Craves 2 and 5 at Nukasusutok and 
Crave 24 at Rose Island suggest that the contact peri- 
od was not just a story of big-man traders; as illus- 
trated in the narrative of Tuglavina and Mikak, Inuit 
women may also have attained distinctive social iden- 
tities and statuses. 



POST-CONTACT INUIT SETTLEMENT ON NUKASUSUTOK ISLAND 



241 



Conclusion: Big-Men, Big-Women and Negotiating 
the 1 8^*^ Century European World System 

The ethnohistoric information presented at the begin- 
ning of this chapter provides a narrative of Inuit life in 
18'^^ century Labrador. Households were organized as 
multi-family units and in some cases settlements were 
composed of several households. Certain males had 
authority within households, but in multi-house settle- 
ments there was conflict between household leaders 
concerning lines of authority. The most prominent of 
these household leaders were involved in the baleen 
trade with Europeans, which involved long-distance 
travel between baleen supply areas in the north and 
the trade centers in southern Labrador. Some of these 
leaders, such as Tuglavina, were able to amass a 
degree of personal wealth and influence. It is unclear 
to what extent the social networks in which the Inuit 
leaders were embedded had effective mechanisms to 
redistribute that wealth and limit authority. After the 
establishment of the Moravian missions along the cen- 
tral coast of Labrador these leaders were prominent in 
resisting Christianization and Moravian attempts to 
draw the Inuit into church-controlled settlements and 
economic transactions. Inuit "big-men" continued to 
travel south to trade and local leaders attempted to 
lure converts away from the missions. In the Main 
region the inhabitants of the Nukasusutok settlement 
were prominent among these recalcitrant "heathens" 
and they remained a thorn in the side of the Moravians 
until about 1810. But beginning in the late 1780s 
changes in the mission economy that linked mission 
policy more closely with economic affairs, such as sup- 
plying firearms to compete with southern traders and 
allowing credit, may have undercut the ability of inde- 
pendent Inuit traders to sustain their activities and 
maintain followers. 

Inuit women have a more ambiguous role in this 
narrative. They were frequently drawn Into polygynous 
households where their labor could be exploited by the 
household leader and their presence as co-wives could 
symbolize the leader's status. Co-wives constituted 



cooperative labour sharing units, with potential for 
both household solidarity and schisms. Frequent refer- 
ences to wife stealing and abuse suggest that women's 
roles were often unenviable. On the other hand, some 
women were able to exert significant influence 
through shamanist power. The story of Mikak reveals 
both the strengths and limitations of Inuit women as 
agents as she careened from being the daughter of a 
prominent leader, to experiencing English high socie- 
ty, to accompanying Tuglavina on trading journeys, to 
being abandoned and ending up as the partner of a 
low status man. During the early 1 9^*^ century it 
appears that Inuit women were catalysts in the 
Christianization process and played important roles in 
incorporating European goods into domestic contexts. 

What little information can be gleaned from 
Strong's excavations of the 1 8'-'^ and early 1 9^'^ centu- 
ry houses at Nukasusutok-8 indicates households 
engaged in the traditional hunting economy, but with 
a material culture strongly marked by the use of iron 
and other European goods. The graves provide a differ- 
ent perspective on these processes. The male kayak 
burial at Grave 4, with its substantial quantity of metal 
goods, suggests a relatively high status individual 
involved in the circulation system for European goods. 
Nearby Grave 5, a female burial with a substantial 
amount of decorative metal and glass trade beads, 
suggests a woman with access to quantities of 
European goods and a status broadly equivalent to the 
male grave. Grave 2, a woman's burial associated with 
many trade beads and situated prominently on a hill, 
implies a form of social recognition. In each case many 
European goods with both high use and symbolic val- 
ues were removed from circulation. 

Although Strong's archaeological investigations of 
1 928 do not provide a strong source of inferences con- 
cerning the nature of IS*^*^ century Inuit society, the 
grave material at least supplements the ethnohistory by 
hinting at how the agency of Inuit men and women was 
valued and represented when individuals passed beyond 
active involvement in the life of their households. 



242 



CHAPTER 1 1 



At a more general level, the Nukasusutok material 
points to several dimensions of change experienced by 
Labrador Inuit people during their incorporation into 
the late 1 8^*^ century European world system. Most 
obvious in the archaeological finds is the marked shift 
in their material culture towards greater reliance on 
European goods, a reliance that over time undermined 
household self-sufficiency, at least in the more 
southerly regions of Inuit settlement. Equipping house- 
holds with these goods entailed either direct depend- 
ence on an influential middle-man, indirect acquisition 
through kin-ties, or long-distance movements to 
southern Labrador for direct access to the European 
suppliers. Although inter-regional mobility was proba- 
bly a normal practice during the Pre-Contact Period, 
the wide scale of the movements documented during 
the late 18*^^ century "stretched" Inuit social relations 
over space and involved Inuit in transactions that 
opened up a series of new social strategies. These 
strategies had important spatial dimensions. 
Middlemen were highly dependent upon an ability to 
extend and maintain their spatial range; goods such as 
baleen had to be collected in the north and transport- 
ed south to the trading locales and European wares 
had to be transported northwards and distributed to 
those who had invested baleen. Consequently, differ- 
ences in geographical location and access to transport 
resources generated spatial inequalities that con- 
tributed to social differentiation. The establishment of 
the Moravian missions eventually transformed these 
spatial relations by creating seasonal population cen- 
ters and by bringing supply points closer to the Inuit, 
thereby subverting the middlemen strategies that were 
based on exploiting spatial inequalities in access to 
European goods. 

The growth of the missions during the late 1 8*^*^ 
and early 1 9*^*^ centuries also resulted in more local- 
ized changes in landscape use and understanding. 
The Moravians attempted to keep converted Inuit teth- 
ered to the mission centers to prevent undesirable 
contact with "heathens" living in traditional settle- 



ments spread over the landscape. This proved difficult 
at Nain, where the inner bay location of the mission 
was not well-suited for year-round settlement; Inuit 
had to maintain a seasonal dispersal to hunting and 
fishing areas considerably distant from the mission. 
As long as the Moravians refused to tie economic 
rewards to conversion there would be a strong incen- 
tive for Inuit to maintain their autonomy by opting for 
traditional settlements such as Nukasusutok-8 and by 
aligning themselves with "big-man" traders who could 
supply goods without the subsistence inconvenience 
and the ideological pressure of living at a mission cen- 
ter. But the late 18^^^ century Moravian shift towards 
combining economic rewards with conversion 
increased the attractiveness of mission affiliation and 
undermined the ability of autonomous Inuit traders to 
retain followers. 

The settlement history of Nukasusutok-8 provides 
a partial illustration of these changes in landscape 
organization and the meaning of places. Prior and sub- 
sequent to the establishment of the Nain mission in 
1771, the Nukasusutok settlement was a fall-spring 
residence for prominent "big-man" traders and their 
kin. The settlement was just one in a network of places 
through which Inuit circulated within the Nain region. 
It was a place where brothers had quarreled. Although 
the recruitment of converts to the mission center ini- 
tially was slow, by 1800 relatively few "heathen" fami- 
lies remained in the Nain region. The Nukasusutok set- 
tlement was no longer one winter residence within a 
network of settlement options, but an isolated "hea- 
then" outpost on a landscape that increasingly was 
defined in relation to the mission center. 
Nukasusutok's meaning in this landscape was now as 
a symbol of "heathen" resistance to Moravian hegemo- 
ny, a resistance that continued until about 1811, when 
the last "heathen" Inuit may have abandoned the island 
and settled at the Nain mission. Today, settlements 
such as Nukasusutok are simply "old cabins" in the col- 
lective memory of oral history, or merely sites on a her- 
itage management inventory. 



POST-CONTACT INUIT SETTLEMENT ON NUKASUSUTOK ISLAND 



243 




163/ Webb Bay and inner Port Manvers Run with sites mentioned in the text. (1= Port Manvers Run-1 , 2= Double Island Cove 
L-l , 3= Attu's Bight, 4= Attu's Point, 5= Sunset Point, 6= Webb Point). Precise locations withheld by request. Original map © 
2004 produced under licence from Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, with permission of Natural Resources Canada. 



244 



CHAPTER 1 2 



Webb Baij-Port Manvers Run: 
Small Scale Investigations 



9 



As outlined in Chapter 2, Port Manvers Run is a fjord- 
like inner passage that provides a protected travel 
route from its seaward outlet at Thalia Point Inland to 
Webb Bay (Figure 3). Smithsonian Institution fieldwork 
in the 1 970s and early 1 980s identified a considerable 
number of archaeological sites along the Run. Pre- 
Dorset localities were particularly well-represented and 
an extensive Late Maritime Archaic site was identified 
on Webb Bay, just west of the southern entrance to the 
Run. Additional portions of Webb Bay were surveyed by 
the author in 1992 and 1993, focusing on the Pre- 
Dorset/Maritime Archaic boundary problem. The sur- 
veys included parts of the northern shoreline of Webb 
Bay, up to ca. 10 km west of the entrance to the Run, 
Webb Point on the southern side of the bay, as well as 
selected areas on South Aulatsivik Island between Red 
Point and Cleat Point (Figure 163). The portion of the 
north shore around Attu's Brook (5 km west of the Run) 
contains raised beaches, but extensive foreshore flats 
prevented access. The innermost portion of Webb Bay 
and most of its southern shore have not been surveyed. 

This chapter summarizes the small scale investi- 
gations undertaken at Maritime Archaic and Pre-Dorset 
sites between 1992 and 1994. A detailed analysis of 
Attu's Point-1 (HeCk-5), a major Pre-Dorset locality, is 
presented separately in Chapter 13. Background infor- 
mation on the environmental aspects of the area were 
discussed in Chapter 2. Chapter 14 ties together the 
information on Pre-Dorset and Late Maritime Archaic 
localities and presents a broader discussion of settle- 



ment patterns and the social boundary relations 
between the two cultures. 

PORT MANVERS RUN-1 (HfCj-5) 

Port Manvers Run-1 is a Pre-Dorset locality situated 
roughly 10 km north of the Webb Bay entrance to the 
Run (Figure 163). The site lies on top of a windy, 
exposed anorthosite knoll, 10-12.5 m asl. Discovered 
by the Smithsonian Institution in 1 980, the site was re- 
investigated in 1993. Pre-Dorset material was associat- 
ed with gravel pockets in bedrock clefts and there were 
also caches and cairns of uncertain cultural affiliation. 
A large quartz vein cut across the north end of the site; 
a considerable amount of shattered material was pres- 
ent, but it was probably frost-cracked. L-1 was located 
centrally on the knoll; the Smithsonian survey identi- 
fied what seemed to be four structures. S-1 was a 
vague cobble feature within a gravel pocket. Measuring 
3.0-3.5 m long and 1 .25 m wide, the feature was asso- 
ciated with flakes of Mugford chert and slate. In a near- 
by linear gravel pocket were what the Smithsonian sur- 
vey recorded as two rock structures, S-2 and S-3. This 
area was excavated in 1993, revealing a linear align- 
ment of hearths rather than two structures (described 
below). S-4 was also located in a gravel pocket; the 
1993 observations suggested it was a 6 m long align- 
ment of four hearth-like cobble clusters, each associat- 
ed with flakes of Mugford chert and slate. 

L-2 was located at the northern edge of the rock 
outcrop. It consisted of the remnants of a small cache 



WEBB BAY-PORT MANVERS RUN: SMALL SCALE INVESTIGATIONS 



245 



164/ Port Manvers Run-1 , S-2/3: view towards the northwest. 



or shelter, 1.25 by 1.0 m, constructed against the 
north side of a boulder. Slightly to the west was L-3, a 
gravel pocket containing naturally shattered vein 
quartz and flakes of slate and crystal quartz. A burin 
made of dark gray IVlugford chert was surface-collect- 
ed here (Figure 169:n). It retains a striking platform at 
its proximal end and its left lateral edge is lightly 
retouched and bears a notch that served as a spall ter- 
minator. The right lateral margin is minimally 
retouched. The distal end is spalled dihedrally with a 
total of eight spall removals; one of the last transverse 
spalls crosscuts an earlier spall removed parallel to the 
right lateral margin. There is no hafting modification 
or facial grinding (L=30.0 mm, W= 21 .9, TH= 3.9). 

Feature S-2/3 

The rock features identified by the Smithsonian survey 
as S-2 and S-3 were located in a long, narrow, north- 
south oriented gravel pocket in a bedrock cleft (Figures 



164 and 165). Surface inspection did not reveal obvi- 
ous hearths or structural alignments. A small excava- 
tion was conducted because the features seemed 
unusual and were associated with a moderate amount 
of flakes and some tools. Given the linear distribution 
of rocks, the grid was aligned with a baseline running 
up the middle of the gravel pocket. A total of 14 m^ 
was excavated, in the form of a 7 by 2 m field. Tools 
and flakes were point-plotted, while the flakes were 
collected in 1 m^ units. 

At first glance the feature appeared to be a con- 
tinuous 7 m long distribution of rocks, but closer 
inspection suggested there were actually four cobble 
concentrations (here considered from south to north). 
The centers of the first three concentrations were 
spaced at 1 .5 m intervals while the centers of the third 
and fourth were spaced 2 m apart. Three of the con- 
centrations are fairly nondescript, but the second 
seemed slightly larger and contained two flat slabs 



246 



CHAPTER 1 2 





positioned near each other and adjacent to other 
rocl<s in a manner vaguely suggestive of a disturbed 
hearth. No charcoal was observed. Figure 166 plots 
the distribution of all flakes and clearly indicates four 
discrete clusters, each associated with one of the cob- 
ble concentrations. The tool distribution (Figures 167 
and 1 68) is broadly consistent with the flake and rock 
concentrations. /C-means cluster analysis distinguish- 
es five tiny clusters, two on opposite sides of the sec- 
ond hearth-like rock feature, one at the center of rock 



concentration three and two small clusters are associ- 
ated with concentration four. Rock concentration one 
entirely lacks tools. Since virtually all the lithic materi- 
al was confined to the narrow gravel pocket the possi- 
bility that it accumulated there after having been 
washed in from the surrounding bedrock might be 
considered as a formational factor. The discrete spa- 
tial clustering of the flakes is so distinct, however, 
that it seems unlikely to have been a result of geolog- 
ical processes. 



WEBB BAY-PORT MANVERS RUN: SMALL SCALE INVESTIGATIONS 



247 



1x1y 1x8y 
+ + + + + + + + 




1 



I I 

m 

♦ Biface Endblade preform 

Burin + Microblade 

■ Burin spall • Utilized flake 

A Endblade 



167/ Port Mamers Run-1 , S-2/3: tool distribution and k-means clusters. 



1x1y 



1x8y 







EB= 2 


BN 1 


EB= 1 


BU= 1 


UF= 1 






EBP= 1 


BS= 1 


EBP= 1 


BS= 1 








Bl=2 


M= 3 


BU= 2 
BS=2 


M= 1 








BU= 1 




M=2 


UF=3 








M= 1 




UF= 1 










EB= 1 


EBP= 1 


EBP= 1 




UF= 1 








Bl= 1 


BS= 3 












M= 1 


UF= 1 












UF= 1 









3x1 y 



EB Endblade BS Burin spall 

EBP Endblade preform M Microblade 

Bl Biface UF Utilized flake 

BU Burin 



3x8y 



168/ Port Manvers Run-1 , S-2/3: tool distribution by quadrat. 



Table 63 summarizes the distribution of tool 
classes across the five /(-means clusters and includes 
several non-point provenienced implements that can 



probably be assigned to the clusters. Given the small 
sample size little can be said about the distribution 
except for the concentration of four burin spalls and 



248 



CHAPTER 1 2 



Table 63. Port Manvers Run-1 Tool Classes by K-Means Cluster. 





C-1 


C-2 


C-3 C-4 


C 5 Quadrat 
Provenience 


TOTAL N (%) 


Endblades 


1 (1) 


1 




1 


4 (10.3) 


Endblade preforms 


1 


2 




1 


4 (10.3) 


Bifaces 


1 (1) 






1 1 


4 (10.3) 


Burins 


1 


2 


1 




4 (10.3) 


Burin spalls 




4 (1) 


1 


1 


7 (17.9) 


Microblades 


1 


2.5 


0.5 


1 3 


8 (20.5) 


Utilized flakes 




2 


3 2 


1 


8 (20.5) 


TOTAL 


5 (2) 


13.5 (1) 


5.5 2 


4 


639 


Parentheses indicate items lacl<ing point provenience, but are pr 


obabiy cluster-related. 





two burins in cluster 2, associated with the third rock 
concentration. On the other hand, the distribution of 
flake raw materials (see below) exhibits some differ- 
ences between the rock concentrations associated with 
clusters 1 and 5 versus clusters 2, 3 and 4. If we attrib- 
ute possible behavioral significance to the flake raw 
material distinctions and group the tool clusters 
accordingly— dividing the linear rock feature in the 
middle near the 5y line— then differences are apparent 
between the northern and southern halves of the fea- 
ture. The southern half (clusters 1 and 5) has slightly 



more bifaces (three versus one) whereas the northern 
half (clusters 2, 3 and 4) has slightly more burins 
(three versus one), contains all the burin spalls and the 
majority of the utilized flakes (seven versus one). The 
distribution of microblades is ambiguous given the 
uncertain cluster association of several non-prove- 
nienced implements. Overall, the assemblage is domi- 
nated by microblades, utilized flakes, endblades and 
endblade preforms, as well as burin spalls. Scrapers 
and axes/adzes are absent. 



Table 64. Port Manvers Run-1 Tool Raw Material Frequencies by K-Means Cluster. 





CI 


C 2 


C 3 


C-4 


C 5 


Quadrat 
Provenience 


TOTAL N (%) 


Cray Mugford chert 


1 


7.5 (1) 


2.5 


2 


2 


3 


19 


(48.7) 


Dark gray Mugford 


2 


2 






1 


1 


6 


(15.4) 


Cray-speckled Mugford 


1 (1) 


1 


1 




1 




5 


(12.8) 


Cray-banded Mugford 




2 


1 








3 


(7.7) 


Black chert 












1 


1 


(2.6) 


Crystal quartz 


1 


1 


1 






1 


4 


(10.3) 


Ramah chert 


(1) 












1 


(2.6) 


TOTAL 


5(2) 


13.5 (1) 


5.5 


2 


4 


6 


39 





WEBB BAY-PORT MANVERS RUN: SMALL SCALE INVESTIGATIONS 



249 




m 



♦ Crystal quartz Gray banded Mugford chert 
A Dark gray Mugford chert + Gray speckled Mugford chert 

• Gray Mugford chert 

1 69/ Port Manvers Run-1 , S-2/3: tool raw material distributions. 



The spatial distribution of tool raw materials is pre- 
sented in Table 64 and Figure 169. There is little mean- 
ingful variation besides a considerable number of gray 
Mugford chert implements associated with cluster 2. 
The absence of slate tools should be noted, however, 
particularly in contrast with the abundance of slate deb- 
itage (see below). 

As noted earlier, the total distribution of flakes 
shows a marked tendency for clusters associated with 
each of the four rock concentrations (Figure 166). 
Unfortunately, the field plots of individual flake raw 
materials proved to be unreliable because of the ten- 
dency of slate to grade into a silicified material resem- 
bling Mugford chert, thus exacerbating the problems 
of distinguishing raw material types in the field. 
Consequently, only quadrat distribution diagrams 
based on lab identifications are presented here (Figure 
170). Overall, the various Mugford cherts comprise 
56% of the total, while slate constitutes 40%. Black 



chert, Ramah chert and crystal quartz are only repre- 
sented by a few flakes each. The quadrat counts sug- 
gest that the distribution of some raw materials varies 
relative to the northern and southern sides of the lin- 
ear rock feature, roughly corresponding to the 5y grid 
line. Table 65 outlines the frequency of flake raw mate- 
rial types structured by this north-south distinction. 
The vast majority of gray-banded Mugford chert lies on 
the north side of the feature, while there is a slight ten- 
dency for gray-speckled Mugford chert to lie on the 
south side. Additionally, patinated chert, black chert, 
Ramah chert and crystal quartz mostly occur on the 
south side. Slate is evenly distributed. If the table is 
collapsed to combine low frequency cells (dark gray 
Mugford with gray Mugford, patinated, black and 
Ramah cherts plus crystal quartz in an "other" catego- 
ry), a chi-square test is significant at the .05 level 
(x^ = 56.45), indicating these contrasting north-south 
distributions are unlikely to be fortuitous. 



250 



CHAPTER 1 2 



1x1y 










1x8y 


1x1y 












1x8y 






3 




3 
















1 


1 


1 
































3 












3x1 y 


Black chert 






3x8y 


3x1 y 


Crystal quartz 








3x8y 


1x1y 










1x8y 


1x1y 












1x8y 






1 


















3 


24 


14 


15 


12 


4 


























1 


4 


5 


10 


2 


6 




3x1 y 


Dark gray Mugford chert 


3x8y 


3x1 y 


Gray Mugford chert 






3x8y 


1x1y 










1x8y 


Ixly 












1x8y 








6 


4 


12 


21 


13 






2 


2 


10 


15 


5 


6 














3 


4 


5 


13 








1 


1 


8 


5 


1 






3x1 y 


Gray banded Mugford chert 


3x8y 


3x1 y 


Gray speckled Mugford chert 


3x8y 


Ixly 










1x8y 


1x1y 












1x8y 


























2 




















3 






















1 






3x1y 


Patinated chert 




3x8y 


3x1y 


Ramah chert 








3x8y 


Ixly 










1x8y 






















1 


4 


14 


26 


32 


19 


2 




























3 


38 


21 


11 


1 






















3x1 y 


Slate 








3x8y 





















1 70/ Port Manvers Run-1 , S-2/3 flake raw material distributions. 



WEBB BAY-PORT MANVERS RUN: SMALL SCALE INVESTIGATIONS 



251 



Table 65. Port Manvers Run-1 
Flake Raw Material Frequencies. 



North 


South 


TOTAL N (%) 


Gray Mugford chert 


49 


51 


100 


(23.4) 


Dark gray Mugford 




1 


1 


(0.2) 


Gray-banded Mugford 


68 


1 3 


81 


(18.9) 


Gray-speckled Mugford 


1 7 


39 


56 


(13.1) 


Patinated chert 




3 


3 


(0.7) 


Black chert 




6 


6 


(1.4) 


Ramah chert 


1 


2 


3 


(0.7) 


Crystal quartz 


1 


5 


6 


(1.4) 


Slate 


86 


86 


1 72 


(40.2) 


TOTAL 


222 


206 


428 





Table 66 portrays the total weights of the lithic 
raw material types present, combining tools and 
flakes. There are some major differences in the tool 
versus flake weight proportions for some of the raw 
materials, but Mugford cherts and slate dominate over- 
all. As noted above, though, slate is represented only 
as flakes. 

The size distribution (maximum length) of 
Mugford chert (generic) and slate flakes is graphed in 
Figure 1 71 . The materials exhibit similar size profiles, 
although a greater proportion of Mugford chert is 
found in the <10 mm class while slate is slightly more 



abundant in the larger size classes. The Mugford chert 
size profile is similar to those from other Pre-Dorset 
localities at Attu's Point (Chapter 1 3, Figure 226), but 
the slate proportions are low in the <30 to <35 mm 
classes that are better represented at Attu's Point 
(Chapter 13, Figure 227). This might indicate a lesser 
significance for the earlier rough-out reduction stages 
at Port Manvers Run-1, but a more detailed study of 
slate reduction systems is necessary to clarify this 
point. 

Only one tool refit was identified: two fragments 
of a microblade that conjoined over a short distance of 
34 cm (Figure 167). None of the burin spalls could be 
refitted with the burins, but both items were discarded 
close to each other, mostly in a tight cluster at the third 
rock concentration (Figure 167). Two burin spalls of 
dark gray Mugford chert could not have been produced 
from any of the four burins recovered from the locali- 
ty, suggesting the operation of curation processes. 

Discussion 

The distribution of tools and flakes at S-2/3 gives the 
impression that each rock concentration was the focus 
of somewhat discrete activity. Spatial variations in the 
flake raw materials and tool types, however, suggest 
behavioral differences between the northern and 



Table 66. Port Manvers Run-1 Total Lithic Raw Material Weights (Tools and Flakes). In Grams. 





Tools g (%) 


Flakes g (%) 


TOTAL g (%) 


Gray Mugford chert 


12.5 


(43.1) 


56.1 


(17.1) 


68.6 (19.2) 


Dark gray Mugford 


4.8 


(16.6) 


2.6 


(0.8) 


7.4 (2.1) 


Gray-banded Mugford 


3.9 


(13.4) 


74.3 


(22.7) 


78.2 (21.9) 


Gray-speckled Mugford 


4.6 


(15.9) 


37.9 


(1 1.6) 


42.5 (11.9) 


Patinated chert 






4.4 


(1.3) 


4.4 (1.2) 


Black chert 


0.4 


(1.4) 


12.1 


(3.7) 


12.5 (3.5) 


Ramah chert 


0.6 


(2.1) 


0.5 


(0.2) 


1.1 (0.3) 


Crystal quartz 


2.2 


(7.6) 


3.1 


(0.9) 


5.3 (1.5) 


Slate 






1 37.0 


(41.8) 


137.0 (38.4) 



252 



CHAPTER 1 2 



<5 <10 



southern halves of the linear 
feature, each half centered on a 
linked pair of rock concentra- 
tions. The southern half has 
slightly more bifaces whereas 
the northern half has slightly 
more burins as well as contain- 
ing all the burin spalls and the 
majority of the utilized flakes. 
Most of the gray-banded 
Mugford chert flakes lie on the 
north side of the feature while 
there is a tendency for gray- 
speckled Mugford chert to lie 
on the south side. Although no 
charcoal was observed during 

the excavation, a single flake of gray-speckled 
Mugford chert from unit 1 x6y (associated with the 
third rock concentration) exhibited a pot-lid fracture 
characteristic of thermal stress and a small biface frag- 
ment of Ramah chert from unit lx3y (associated with 
the second rock concentration with more evident 
hearth features) bore traces of heat patination. 

This linear arrangement of rocks does not repre- 
sent a known form of Labrador Pre-Dorset dwelling. At 
this point it seems most credible to interpret the fea- 
ture as a line of external hearths, each associated with 
a discrete lithic deposit. A similar linear rock cluster 
feature was found nearby at the same site (S-4). The 
pattern of possible hearths spaced 1.5-2.0 m apart 
might also be present at L-5 at the Attu's Point Pre- 
Dorset site (Chapter 1 3), although in that case a dis- 
turbed axial feature seems a more likely interpretation. 
On the other hand, the feature could be the remains of 
an as-yet undocumented dwelling form, such as a 7 m 
long tent structure with a central line of hearths. 
Unconventional models should be considered given 
the shifting interpretations of Maritime Archaic site 
structure (Chapter 3) and reports of a Pre-Dorset "long- 
house" on the Melville Peninsula in the central arctic (S. 



Port Manvers Run-1: Flake Size Distributions 




■ Mugford chert 

■ Slate 



<15 <20 <25 
5 mm classes 



<30 <35 



1/1/ Port Manvers Run-1, S-2/3: flake size distributions. 



Rowley, cited in Ramsden and Murray 1995:106; 
Rowley and Rowley 1997:274). 

Dating 

No charcoal was recovered from the excavation, so the 
site can only be dated by relative means. Height above 
sea level (1 0-12.5 m) corresponds to that of other Pre- 
Dorset sites in the area, but does not help much oth- 
erwise. The small tool collection does not provide 
much typological basis for dating besides exhibiting a 
general Early Pre-Dorset stamp. 

Tool Assemblage 

Endblades All four of the endblades (Figure 172:d-0 
are fragmentary: three medial portions, one proximal. 
Two implements are made of gray-speckled Mugford 
chert, one of dark gray Mugford chert, and one of crys- 
tal quartz. The proximal specimen (Figure 172:f) is 
made of gray-speckled Mugford chert and has a 
straight base, a biconvex cross-section and slightly 
serrated edges (W= 9.5 mm, TH= 2.0). The three medi- 
al fragments have very fine flaking; a tiny dark gray 
Mugford chert example (not illustrated) has medial 
polish on one face. 



WEBB BAY PORT MANVERS RUN: SMALL SCALE INVESTIGATIONS 



253 




1 72/ Port Manvers Run-l , 5-2/3: tools, a, b: endblade preforms; c-f: endblades; 
g, h: bifaces, i: endblade preform, j-n: burins, o-q. microblades. 



Endblade Preforms Of the four endblade preforms, 
two are distal fragments and two are proximal frag- 
ments. The two distal fragments, one made of gray 
Mugford chert, the other of dark gray Mugford chert, 
were made on flakes of roughly triangular form that 
were modified with fine bifacial retouch around their 
margins (Figure 172:a, b). One of the proximal frag- 
ments is made of crystal quartz (Figure 1 72:c) and has 
a plano-convex cross-section, two long basal thinning 
flakes on its ventral side and a slight shoulder formed 
by incomplete bifacial retouch on one edge (W= 13.2 
mm, TH= 2.7). The other is made of gray Mugford 
chert (Figure 1 72:i) and has a straight base as well as 
fine flaking primarily on one face. Final edge retouch 



began at the distal end but did 
not go very far before the tip 
broke off and the implement 
was discarded. 

Bifaces All four of the bifaces 
are small fragments, two made 
of gray Mugford chert, one of 
gray- speckled Mugford, one of 
Ramah chert and one of black 
chert. Three of them are proba- 
bly fragments of bifacial points 
or knives rather than end- 
blades; two of these are illus- 
trated in Figure 172:g, h. Their 
widths are probably in the 16- 
1 9 mm range. 

Burins Three of the four burins 
are whole, while one is a distal 
fragment. Two are made from 
gray-banded Mugford chert and 
one each from gray-speckled 
and gray Mugford chert. None 
exhibit facial grinding or side- 
notching, although all bear 
traces of lateral edge grinding. 
The specimen illustrated in Figure 172:j has unifacial 
dorsal retouch on one lateral edge, mostly ventral and 
relatively rough retouch on the other lateral edge, and 
minimal bifacial retouch on its base (L= 27.4 mm, W= 
15.3, TH= 5.4). The distal end is spalled dihedrally 
with the shorter left-side spall terminated by a distinct 
notch just below the tip; a total of seven spalls were 
removed. Figure 1 72;k shows a burin made on a mini- 
mally retouched flake with slight unifacial distal notch- 
ing from which a single spall was removed (L= 19.2 
mm, W= 16.3, TH= 7.4). The item shown in Figure 
172:1 is a distal fragment with a right lateral edge 
retouched mostly on the ventral side from the surface 
of an earlier spall (W=14.0 mm, TH=4.8). The distal 



254 



CHAPTER 1 2 



/ 73/ Double Island Cove- 1 , 
towards the southwest. 



end is spalled dihedrally with 
two additional spalls. Figure 
172:m has very minimal dorsal 
retouch on its lateral edges, a 
remnant striking platform at its 
base, and slight ventral thinning 
of the bulb of percussion (L= 
30.1 mm, W= 15.3, TH= 6.2). 
The distal end is spalled dihe- 
drally with two spall removals, 
one of which removed most of 
one lateral edge of the flake. 



Burin Spalls Of the seven burin 
spalls, three are made of dark 
gray Mugford chert, three of 

gray Mugford chert and one of gray-speckled 
Mugford chert. One is complete, three are proximal 
fragments, and one each are medial and distal frag- 
ments. All are secondary spalls and none exhibit evi- 
dence for facial grinding. 

Microblades Of the eight microblades (MNI= 3), six are 
fashioned from gray Mugford chert, one from gray- 
banded Mugford chert and one from crystal quartz. 
One is nearly complete while five are medial frag- 
ments, one a distal fragment and one a proximal por- 
tion. Seven of the eight exhibit use-wear, the only 
exception being the nearly complete specimen (L = 
35.1 mm, W = 6.6, TH = 2.7). The widths of the proxi- 
mal and medial fragments range between 5.3-8.7 mm. 
Examples are shown in Figure 1 72:o-q. 

Utilized Flakes Five of the eight utilized flakes are 
made of gray Mugford chert, two of dark gray Mugford 
chert and one of crystal quartz. 

Conclusions 

Port Manvers Run-1 , L-1 , is most likely a small hunting 
stand (cf., Binford's [1 978] Mask site). The site location 
provides an excellent look-out for spotting sea mam- 




Structure 1 . Approximate pit boundaries indicated. View 



mals moving through the Run. The inferred linear 
hearth feature at S-2/3, as well as the similar but unex- 
cavated S-4 area, suggest hearth complexes used by 
small groups while staging hunting activities. The tool 
assemblage is small and functionally limited, mostly to 
endblades and endblade preforms, burin spalls, 
microblades and utilized flakes. Scrapers are conspic- 
uous by their absence. Although slate flakes indicative 
of tool reduction were present, there were no axes or 
adzes. There is little basis to determine site seasonali- 
ty, but an open water season seems most likely given 
the site's look-out character and its location ca. 6 km 
south of the modern polynya at the "Second Rattle," 
which was probably the most optimal winter hunting 
location in the area. 

DOUBLE ISLAND COVE-1, L-1 (HeCj-1) 

Double Island Cove lies on the western side of the 
southern entrance to Port Manvers Run (Figure 1 63). L- 
1, a Pre-Dorset occupation, was registered in 1 985 by 
the Smithsonian Institution and revisited in 1992 and 
1993 since it lay near our field camp. The site is situ- 
ated on a small sloping terrace on the south side of the 
cove, directly backed by a rocky knoll. Two possible 
structures were exposed in small blow-outs. The clear- 



WEBB BAY-PORT MANVERS RUN: SMALL SCALE INVESTIGATIONS 



255 



8x1 5y 



9x15y 



> N 




A /-y' 0/ 



(7 





O 



8x1 2y 



F Flat rock 

Outer pit edge 

I I Inner pit 

■ Burin spall 

* Endblade 
+ Microblade 

• Utilized flake 



11x12y 



lOxlOy 



llxlOy 



/ 74/ Double Island Cove- 1 , Structure 1 : tool distribution. 



8x1 5y 



9x1 5y 



> N 




H /-y' D <? / 



^ o 



8x1 2y 



F Flat rock 

Outer pit edge 

I I Inner pit 



11x12y 



♦ ♦ 



B Black chiert 

* Crystal quartz lOxiOy 

* Gray Mugford ctiert 

+ Gray speckled Mugford ctiert 

* Ramah ctiert 



llxlOy 



1 75/ Double Island Cove- 1, Structure I : flake distribution. 



est of these, Structure 1 , was partially excavated in 
1 992. Structure 2 was located 1 0.4 m northeast of S-1 
and 0.5-1.0 m lower in elevation. A small excavation 
was begun at S-2 in 1993 but was not completed 
because of a hasty departure necessitated by strong 
winds and boat problems. 

Structure 1 

At first glance Structure 1 consisted of a small rock 
alignment and a minimal amount of lithic material 
exposed on the surface, altogether covering an area of 
1 5 m^. A total of 7.5 m^ was excavated (Figures 1 73 
and 1 74), exposing a central feature but incompletely 
documenting its periphery. The excavation indicated 
that this was not an axial structure. The most promi- 



nent feature was a roughly oval depression, the outer 
limits of which measured 2.0 by 1 .0 m, with a long axis 
running NE-SW. The depression was bordered on the 
north by a cluster of large seemingly "structural" rocks 
embedded in the surrounding sand/gravel and on the 
south by a smaller cluster of rocks. The base of the 
depression was 1 5-20 cm below ground surface on the 
north side, 35 cm below the surface of the higher 
south side. The entire depression was filled with black 
humus-rich soil and charcoal flecks. It was partially 
covered by a thin layer of yellow sand/gravel, possibly 
slope wash. 

The lower portion of the southern and western 
sides of the depression contained a smaller pit, 2.0 by 
0.5 m. This second pit was bordered by flat rock slabs 



256 



CHAPTER 1 2 



LGM= 1 






BC= 2 
RC= 1 
GNS= 1 
GYS= 1 


LGM=4 
QZ= 1 




1 






CR= 


BC Black chert 

CR Crystal quartz 

GNS Green slate 

GYS Gray slate 

LGM Light gray Mugford chert 

QZ Quartz 

RC Ramah chert 

SP Speckled gray Mugford 


SP= 1 
CR= 5 


LGM= 1 
SP= 2 
RC= 1 
CR= 23 



1 76/ Double Island Cove- 1, Structure I: flake distribution 
by quadrat. 

that extended towards the cluster of "structural" rocks. 
Perhaps these slabs once lined the depression and 
were thrown out after use, but some of them seem to 
be arranged deliberately between the large "structural" 
rocks. Alternatively, the "structural" rocks may have 
been removed when the depression was constructed. 
At the center of the secondary pit was a small inclined 
flat slab and three or four small fire-cracked rocks. 
Directly associated with this inclined slab was char- 
coal, a few tiny retouch flakes of Mugford chert and a 
large burin spall. Another inclined flat slab was posi- 
tioned at the extreme eastern end of the depression. 

Very little lithic material was recovered. Thirteen 
tools were collected: a triangular endblade fragment, 
two burin spalls, two biface fragments, five possible 
microblade fragments and three utilized flakes. With 
the exception of the burin spall from the base of the 
pit, all the tools were found either around the rim of 



the depression or in a small cluster 1 .4 m to the east. 
In contrast, most of the flakes were clustered in the lat- 
ter area, 1 .4 m east of the pit (Figures 1 75 and 1 75). 
Flake raw material frequencies are listed in Table 67. 
The modest total of 59 flakes is dominated by crystal 
quartz and gray Mugford chert. All but one of the crys- 
tal quartz flakes were found in the cluster east of the 
depression while gray Mugford and black cherts seem 
to have a stronger association with the pit. The con- 
centration of flakes and tools associated with several 
rocks in the excavation area east of the depression 
might indicate the presence of another structure. 



Table 67. Double Island Cove-1, L-1, S-1: 
Flake Raw Material Frequencies. 





N 


% 


Crystal quartz 


29 


(64.4) 


Light gray Mugford chert 


6 


(13.3) 


Black chert 


2 


(4.4) 


Cray-speckled chert 


3 


(6.7) 


Ramah chert 


2 


(4.4) 


Quartz 


1 


(2.2) 


Green slate 


1 


(2.2) 


Cray slate 


1 


(2.2) 


TOTAL 


45 





The tool assemblage contains little chronological- 
ly diagnostic material. The small triangular endblade is 
a proximal fragment made of gray Mugford chert 
(Figure 179:b). It is extremely thin, slightly serrated 
and has a straight base modified by basal thinning 
flakes on both faces (W= 10.0 mm, TH= 1.8). The two 
biface fragments are made of gray Mugford chert and 
gray-speckled Mugford chert; one is a proximal por- 
tion, the other a lateral edge fragment (Figure 1 79:a,c). 
Both have nearly plano-convex cross-sections, fine par- 
allel flaking and slightly serrated edges. The two burin 
spalls are both made of gray Mugford chert; one is 
complete, the other is a proximal fragment, and both 
are secondary spalls. Of the five possible microblades. 



WEBB BAY-PORT MANVERS RUN; SMALL SCALE INVESTIGATIONS 



257 




four are made of crystal quartz, one of gray-white sili- 
cified siltstone. The single complete specimen is made 
of crystal quartz, although it is poorly formed (L= 1 8.8 
mm, W= 8.3, TH= 3.1), while three are small proximal 
fragments and one is a medial portion. Two of the 
three utilized flakes are made of gray Mugford chert, 
the other of patinated chert. 

A sample of charcoal from the depression was 
radiocarbon dated to 3640±70 B.P. (Beta-571 25). The 
tool collection provides minimal basis for evaluating 
this result. The endblade basal form and slight serra- 
tion, the serrated bifaces, and the unground burin 
spalls, are all attributes that are at least consistent 
with the Early Pre-Dorset radiocarbon date. 

Several seeds and tiny bone fragments were 
retrieved when soil samples from the depression were 
wet-sieved. The seeds were identified by Michael Deal 
(Archaeology Unit, Memorial University). All identifi- 
able elements were of crowberry (Empetrum nigrum) 



and they consisted of: 1 5 single seeds, another in two 
sections, 2 seeds with partial coats, two complete clus- 
ters (9 seeds each) and 2 partial clusters (3 and 6 
seeds respectively). Given the presence of seed clus- 
ters, Deal suggests that the seeds may have been 
green when burned, otherwise they might not have 
stuck together. If so, that might suggest they were 
burned during the summer. This need not indicate 
human consumption of the berries, though, since the 
plant as a whole could have been burned in a smudge 
pit to discourage flies or to smoke fish. Additionally, 
since crowberries survive intact over the winter when 
covered with snow, their use in other seasons cannot 
be eliminated. 

Structure 2 

Structure 2 was visible on the surface as a cluster of 
flat rock slabs and Mugford chert flakes. Given the 
interesting results from the Structure 1 investigation, a 



258 



CHAPTER 1 2 



test excavation was begun in 1993. Unfortunately, the 
work was terminated early by a hasty departure, at 
which point only 2.5 had been excavated (Figure 
177). Several possible "structural" rocks were uncov- 
ered, as well as some flat slabs, one with a trace of 
notching. A patch of charcoal was present in the cen- 
ter of the excavation, but there was no clear indication 
of a hearth structure. Charcoal from this concentration 
was radiocarbon dated to 3320±70 B.P. (Beta-71 476). 

Minimal lithic material was recovered. Only seven 
tools were collected, mostly from a tight cluster beside 
a large rock (Figure 1 77): a burin spall of gray Mugford 
chert, two microblade core fragments of crystal quartz 
(Figure 1 79:e, 0, a microblade fragment of crystal 
quartz (Figure 1 79;d) and three utilized flakes (two of 
crystal quartz, one of gray Mugford chert). Flake mate- 
rial consisted of crystal quartz (n=31), gray Mugford 
chert (n=l 0), patinated chert (n=2) and slate (n=l ). The 
crystal quartz flakes were tightly concentrated beside 
the same large rock where most of the tools were 
found (Figure 1 78). 

Discussion 

The material from Double Island Cove-1 is so limited 
it is difficult to draw substantive conclusions. The 
slightly lower elevation of Structure 2 might fit with its 
radiocarbon dating 300 years later than Structure 1, 
but nothing in the scanty lithic assemblage from 
Structure 2 points to a Late Pre-Dorset dating. The raw 
material patterns of the two structures are similar: a 
predominance of crystal quartz, which seems to be 
spatially concentrated. Consequently, there are no 
grounds to support or reject the radiocarbon datings. 
If the 3300 B.P. date is reasonable, however, it is one 
of relatively few indications of a Late Pre-Dorset pres- 
ence in the Main area. The other is Nukasusutok-2, 
discussed briefly in Chapter 4 and presented in detail 
by Fitzhugh (2002). 

Double Island Cove-1 seems to be a minor camp, 
possibly used on a couple of occasions widely separat- 
ed in time. Its main value, apart from yielding some 



I i % i 

a b c ^ 




/ 79/ Tools from Double Island Cove, Sunset Point and 
Webb Point, a-c: biface, endblade, biface (Double Island 
Cove S-l), d-f microblade, core fragment, core fragment 
(Double Island Cove S-2); g, h: burin, microblade (Sunset 
Point), i-n: microblade, endblade (Pre-Dorset), biface stem, 
biface (Maritime Archaic), stemmed point (Maritime 
Archaic), flake point (Maritime Archaic) (all Webb Point). 

additional radiocarbon dates, is that Structure 1 pro- 
vides evidence for a feature type unknown from else- 
where in Labrador. The depression and its association 
with burned crowberry seeds and bone fragments indi- 
cates a function different from that of documented Pre- 
Dorset axial structures and tent rings. If the crowberry 
seeds imply use during the summer, this would be the 
first direct evidence for seasonality at a Pre-Dorset site 
in Labrador. Today, summer is not a period of opti- 
mum resource availability in the Webb Bay/Port 
Manvers Run area, although the cove sometimes offers 



WEBB BAY-PORT MANVERS RUN: SMALL SCALE INVESTIGATIONS 



259 




180/ Attu's Bight overview towards the southwest. 

good char fishing. With a higher sea level at the time 
of Pre-Dorset occupation, however, Double Island Cove 
would have been a much larger embayment, perhaps 
with a slightly different mix of resources than today. A 
minor Pre-Dorset locality on the north side of the cove 
(Double Island Point-2, HeCj-4) indicates additional 
Pre-Dorset activity in the area, but overall the use of 
the cove was more limited than at Port Manvers-Run-1 
or certainly Attu's Point (Chapter 1 3). 



SUNSET POINT 
(HeCj-8) 

Sunset Point is a neo-toponym 
for a small rocky crag between 
Red Point and Cleat Point on 
South Aulatsivik Island (Figure 
163). The site consists of two 
lithic scatters in gravel deposits 
on top of an exposed bedrock 
knoll, a form and placement 
typical of several small Pre- 
Dorset sites in the Port Manvers 
Run area. Two implements were 
surface-collected: a burin and a 
microblade. The burin (Figure 
1 79;g) is made on a large flake of gray-speckled 
Mugford chert (L= 38.4 mm, W= 20.0, TH= 6.3). The 
implement bears a remnant striking platform on its 
base. The distal and medial margins of the left lateral 
edge are bifacially retouched while the proximal edge 
margin is unifacially retouched ventrally. The right lat- 
eral margin bears a bifacial notch, possibly for spall 
termination. The flake facets and lateral edges of the 
basal area are slightly polished. The distal burination 




\W\ Flake scatter 
H L-3/6 excavation 
Trees 



Webb Bay 



20 



1 81 / Attu's Bight site map. Based on field sketch by W. Fitzhugh, with modifications, 
■jc-n CHAPTER 12 



is transverse with five spall removals and the distal tip 
is heavily rounded by wear. The microblade (Figure 
1 79:h) is made of gray-speckled Mugford chert and is 
relatively large (L= > 40.0 mm, W= 1 1 .0, TH= 2.7), with 
fine use retouch along part of one edge. 

ATTU'S BIGHT-1 (HeCk-4) 

Attu's Bight-1 is a large Rattler's Bight Phase (4200- 
3500 B.P.) Maritime Archaic site, located on the north 
side of Webb Bay, just west of the entrance to Port 
Manvers Run (Figure 163). It was discovered and sur- 
face collected by the Smithsonian Institution in 1985 
(Fitzhugh 1 986:57) and revisited by the author in 1 992 
and 1 993. The site consists of cultural remains extend- 
ing for about 350 m along a set of sand and gravel ter- 
races 19-21 m as I. (Figure 1 80, 1 81 ). Smithsonian field 
notes identify three different beach levels (A, B, C); 
that were suggested to be indicative of chronological 
differences within the site. However, the vertical dis- 
tance between these terraces is minimal (0.5-1.0 m) 
and the slope is very gradual, so the levels may have 
little relevance for relative dating the site contents. 
Indeed, according to the general uplift regime for the 
Main inner bay area (Figure 5) the 19 m terrace 
emerged 6000-5500 B.P., well prior to the Rattlers 
Bight phase. Since the terrace front is an erosion face 
that plunges steeply from 1 9 m to the modern shore- 
line, during the Rattlers Bight Phase there were proba- 
bly no lower beaches suitable for habitation. In any 
event, the large horizontal extent of the 19-21 m sur- 
face was ideal for longhouse placement and it provid- 
ed a broad field of view over Webb Bay. 

Most of the site is completely deflated by wind 
erosion. The little surface vegetation present consists 
of moss-lichen and isolated stands of spruce trees. 
Thicker spruce growth is found immediately north of 
the site, downslope to the south, and to the west. 
Flakes and implements of Ramah chert and other 
materials lie exposed on the sand/gravel surface, dis- 
tributed in linear patterns parallel to the beach levels. 
The 1985 Smithsonian survey identified nine separate 



loci and the 1992-93 investigations added three more. 
These 1 2 loci (Figure 181) are described briefly below, 
based on Smithsonian field notes and later observa- 
tions. Test excavations conducted at L-3/6 in 1 992-93 
are described thereafter. 

Overview of Localities 

L-l: At the extreme eastern end of the terrace was a 
Ramah chert scatter. The 1992 surface collection 
included three biface fragments of thermally altered 
Ramah chert, of which two are probably point pre- 
forms (Figure 1 90;j, k), while the third is an edge frag- 
ment from a larger bifacial implement (Figure 190:i). 
Also recovered was a large green slate flake (Figure 
191:a) with a slightly polished medial surface and 
scraper-like retouch along one edge (L= 79.6 mm, W= 
64.4, TH= 7.7). 

L-2 Parallel to the southeastern terrace front was a 
scatter of Ramah chert flakes, 60 m long, 6 m wide. 
Just north of this was a packed cobble feature, sub-rec- 
tangular in shape and 2.5 by 1.0 m in size. The 
Smithsonian surface collection consisted of two Ramah 
chert micropoints, a ground slate preform and two uti- 
lized flakes (one of Ramah chert the other of "chert"). 

L-3 and L-6: Located on the middle beach level near the 
eastern end of the terrace, these loci contained the 
only in situ portion of the site. The Smithsonian regis- 
tered two separate loci here, but they probably consti- 
tute a single occupation area, of which perhaps two- 
thirds is deflated. L-3/6 was marked by a scatter of 
Ramah chert flakes 40 m long and at least 5-6 m wide, 
the easternmost portion of which extended into the in 
situ deposit. At L-3 the Smithsonian collected a Ramah 
chert stemmed point, three flake points (two of Ramah 
chert, one of unspecified material), four Ramah chert 
biface fragments and a slate celt fragment, while at L- 
6 they collected two Ramah chert biface fragments and 
a slate celt fragment. The 1 992-93 test excavations are 
described below. 



WEBB BAY-PORT MANVERS RUN: SMALL SCALE INVESTIGATIONS 



261 




182/ Attu's Bight L-3/6: view towards the east. 

L-4 Positioned on the highest beach level, L-4 consist- 
ed of a small scatter of quartz flakes, from which the 
Smithsonian collected two quartz biface fragments and 
a Ramah chert flake knife. In 1992 a Ramah chert 
biface preform (Figure 190;c) was collected 7 m north 
of L-4. The implement is fully flaked dorsally but only 
partially flaked ventrally, and it bears a striking plat- 
form distally (L= 43.5 mm, W= 21.9, TH= 9.2). 

L-5 Situated on the upper portion of the middle beach 
level and adjacent to L-3/6, L-5 was a lithic scatter con- 
taining flakes of Ramah chert, Mugford chert and slate. 
The Smithsonian collected two stemmed points, a sin- 
gle-shouldered biface and a biface fragment, all of 
Ramah chert. 

L-7: Located on the central portion of the highest 
beach level, L-7 was a 120 m long scatter of Ramah 
chert flakes. The Smithsonian surface collected four 
flake points, three of Ramah chert, one of quartz. In 
1992 a complete Ramah chert stemmed point was 
recovered (Figure 190:a). The implement is "typical" of 
the Rattlers Bight phase, with bifacial flaking, a bicon- 
vex cross-section, a slightly tapering stem and a slight- 
ly convex base (L= 47.0 mm, W= 21.2, TH= 6.2, stem 
L= 16.4, stem W[shoulder/base] = 14.1/1 1.3). 



L-8: Near the center of the site, 
slightly back from the eroded 
terrace front, was an oval ring of 
cobbles, 4 m in diameter. The 
feature was associated with large 
chunks of Ramah chert, banded 
slate and quartz flakes. The 
Smithsonian surface collected a 
stemmed point preform, two 
biface preforms and a 
sidescraper, all of Ramah chert. 

L-9: Near the western end of the 
site, on the highest beach level, 
was a 50 m linear scatter of 
Ramah chert flakes. Smithsonian field notes mention the 
presence of a stemmed point resembling Sandy Cove 
Complex form. 

L-]0: Lying between L-7 and L-9, but slightly lower, 
was a 1 m diameter cluster of about 10 head-sized 
rocks associated with smaller cobbles. A couple of 
Ramah chert flakes lay on top of the feature, which 
may be a burial cairn. West of the feature was a 1 by 
1 m scatter of Ramah chert flakes. 

L-11: This was the westernmost cultural feature 
observed at the site, lying in an isolated area 40 m 
south of some sand dunes. It consisted of a cluster of 
about 1 head-sized or smaller rocks, 1 m in diameter, 
without associated lithic material. The feature may be 
a burial cairn. 

L-12: Located on the highest beach level and 
towards the northeast corner of the site, L-1 2 was a 
small scatter of Ramah chert flakes. A Ramah chert 
flake point was surface collected (Figure 190:b); it 
has bifacial retouch limited to the edge margins, a 
slight shoulder on one lateral edge, and slight basal 
thinning (L= 23.9 mm, W= 11.6, TH= 3.7, shoulder 
HT= 9.3). 



262 



CHAPTER 12 



46x62y 



49x52y 



deflated § 



in situ 



46x47y 






















*/ 







in situ 



49x47y 



Feature 2 



53x50y 

/ Edge of deflatii 
Charcoal 



^ Bone fragments 



1 m 



183/ Attu's Bight L-3/6: excavation with flake distribution. 



Test Excavations at L-3/6 

In 1992 and 1993 small scale test excavations 
were undertaken in the />? s/Tw deposits at L-3/6 (Figure 
182) to acquire material for radiocarbon dating and to 
determine if there was much likelihood of identifying 
traces of dwelling structures or other features. In 1 992 
a small grid system was set up on the western edge of 
the in situ deposit, including part of the deflated area. 
A total of 1 7.8 m^ was investigated, of which only 3 
m^ was excavated in situ, the rest was simply a trow- 
el-through of the exposed sand and gravel. Tools and 
flakes were point-plotted, while flakes were collected 
in 1 m^ units. A profile from the in situ deposit indi- 
cated possible traces of two occupation layers, so in 
1993 two 1 m^ test pits were excavated further east- 
ward in the m situ deposit to provide additional strati- 
graphic information (Figure 183). 

The sediments in the vicinity of L-3/5 consisted of 
coarse sand and pea-size gravel. The depth of defla- 
tion varied from 10-40 cm. A stratigraphic profile 



(50x51 y/50x50y) taken from the edge of the in situ 
deposit exhibited some interesting details (Figures 
1 84 and 1 85). A total of 1 1 separate stratigraphic units 
were identified, including at least four buried humus 
layers that indicate a repetitive cycle of temporarily 
stable vegetation surfaces followed by eolian deposi- 
tion. The main cultural level was unit 9, 35 cm below 
the surface, a sand layer that exhibited a shallow 
basin-like feature excavated slightly into the underly- 
ing sand/gravel. Unit 9 contained flakes, tools, red 
ocher and oxidized sand, and charcoal flecks. 
Immediately above unit 9 was unit 8, a humus layer 
containing charcoal flecks. The other stratigraphic 
units were culturally sterile, except for unit 2, a faint 
buried humus layer 1 5 cm below the surface that con- 
tained two Ramah chert flakes. In other parts of the in 
situ deposit Ramah chert flakes were exposed in a 
shallow deflated area 1 0-1 2 cm below the surface, sug- 
gesting there may have been an occupation at roughly 
that depth. But given the instability of sand surfaces. 



WEBB BAY-PORT MANVERS RUN: SMALL SCALE INVESTIGATIONS 



263 




■ ■■- ■ 

'A- 



/84/4ffM'5 6;g/7f L-3/6 excavation at the edge of the in situ deposit. 



redeposition by deflation and eolian processes cannot 
be ruled out. 

In 1 993, test pit 50x50y was excavated adjacent 
to the 1 992 profile. At the 1 cm level, seven Ramah 
chert flakes were encountered, as well as one flake of 




50x5 1y 

1 . Gray sand 

2. Buried humus, Ramah chert flake 
3, 5, 7. Yellow-brown sand 

4, 6. Buried humus 

8. Buried humus with charcoal flecks 

9, Red-yellow sand, charcoal, Ramah chert flakes 
9a, Basin feature, oxidized sand, minimal charcoal 
9b Charcoal beneath cultural layer 

10, Yellow-brown sand/gravel 

11. Gravel lens 



50x50y 



185/ Attu's Bight L-3/6: profile. 



greenstone and a split cobble 
with a faint trace of red ocher 
on its surface. An extremely 
faint spot of red ocher was 
observed in the sand. Given the 
paucity of material it is difficult 
to conclude there was a dis- 
tinct occupation floor at this 
level, but the split cobble and 
red ocher might counter the 
redeposition argument, since 
the former would be resistant 
to wind action and the latter 
would have been erased by it. 
No flakes were observed at a 
corresponding level in test pit 53x50y, further to 
the east. In both 1993 test pits, however, a distinct 
occupation floor was found corresponding to the 
lower unit 9 level in the 1992 test, although this 
floor lay somewhat deeper (45 cm) than in the 1 992 
units (35 cm). 

Two features were identified in the basal unit 9 
deposits, both of which appeared to be small hearths 
(Figure 1 83). Feature 1 was located near the edge of 
the deflated area. It was a 60-70 cm in diameter oval 
patch of red-yellow oxidized sand mixed with char- 
coal and faint red ocher stains, accompanied by a 55 
by 35 cm oval concentration of 38 small burned bone 
fragments. None of the bone fragments were identifi- 
able, although one might be a rib fragment. There 
were no distinct hearth border or other "functional" 
rocks associated with the feature. The slightly basin- 
shaped profile of the feature suggests a fire was sim- 
ply kindled in the upper portion of the ground sur- 
face. A sample of charcoal from this concentration 
was radiocarbon dated to 4080±100 B.P. (Beta- 
571 26). Within and adjacent to the feature were small 
Ramah chert retouch flakes and a few tools: a slate 
celt fragment, a utilized flake of Ramah chert, a 
ground slate flake and a small mica fragment. 
Feature 2 was found at the bottom of test pit 53x50y, 



264 



CHAPTER 1 2 



3.5 m east of Feature 1. It consisted of a 60 cm in 
diameter oval cluster of fist-sized cobbles associated 
with a considerable amount of charcoal and a few 
Ramah chert flakes. Two small red ocher stains 
occurred nearby. Charcoal from this feature was 
radiocarbon dated to 4080±90 B.P. (Beta-7 1 477). 

Figure 186 depicts the spatial distribution of 
tools while the tool classes are listed by frequency in 
Table 68. The implements lay in two elongated 
east/west distributions separated by 1.0-1.5 m, one 
extending out from the Feature 1 hearth, the other 
along the southern edge of the excavation. These 
distributions parallel that of the flakes (see below). 
The small collection is dominated by utilized flakes 
of Ramah chert. Also collected were two small mica 
fragments and 1 1 schist fragments. 



Table 68. Attu's Bight L-3/6 
Tool Class Frequencies. 





N 


(%) 


Stemmed points 


3 


(1 5.0) 


Bifaces 


2 


(10.0) 


Flake points 


1 


(5.0) 


Stemmed flakes 


1 


(5.0) 


Utilized flakes 


10 


(50.0) 


Celts 


1 


(5.0) 


Ground slate flakes 


1 


(5.0) 


Split cobbles 


1 


(5.0) 


TOTAL 


20 





The flake distribution is shown in Figure 187. 
The plotted distribution of flakes in the deflated 
areas is probably misleading since eolian processes 
have doubtless smeared the spatial distributions and 
the material could represent a palimpsest of differ- 
ent occupation levels. Nonetheless, the frequencies 
of Ramah chert flakes indicate a distribution about 
4-5 m wide (north/south) with two dense concentra- 
tions: one associated with the Feature 1 hearth area 
near the center and another ca. 1.0-1.5 m to the 
south. Thermally altered patinated Ramah chert is 



found in most of the excavation units, but is most 
frequent in the hearth area. Table 69 indicates the 
flake raw material frequencies are almost totally 
dominated by Ramah chert, typical of Rattlers Bight 
Phase localities. A fairly high percentage of the 
Ramah chert is patinated. Figure 188 portrays the 
size distribution of Ramah chert flakes. A total of 
78.4% of the flakes measure < 20 mm and 61.7% < 
1 5 mm, suggestive of an emphasis on secondary 
retouch. Additionally, a total of 1 34 biface-thinning 
flakes (BTFs) was identified (Figure 189). BTFs were 
distributed over most of the excavated area, 
although units with the largest quantities tended to 
be those with the most flakes overall. Additionally, 
42 (3 1 .3%) of the BTFs were >30 mm in size, sugges- 
tive of the reduction of large quarry blanks or pre- 
forms. This percentage is much higher than those 
recorded for the Middle Maritime Archaic site 
Nukasusutok 5 (Area 2A = 1 3.5%, 2B = 5.4% and 2C 
= 12.3%). The large BTFs were also distributed fairly 
evenly across the units. 



Table 69. Attu's Bight L-3/6 Flake 
Raw Material Frequencies. 



Excavation 


Surface 


TOTAL N (%) 


Ramah chert 


674 


31 1 


985 (88.2) 


Patinated Ramah 


76 


48 


1 24 (11.1) 


Cray slate 


2 


1 


3 (0.3) 


Creenstone 


2 


1 


3 (0.3) 


Cray Mugford chert 




1 


1 (0.1) 


Quartz 




1 


1 (0.1) 


TOTAL 


754 


363 


1117 



The total weights of the lithic raw materials 
(tools and flakes) are given in Table 70. Ramah chert 
is clearly dominant; together, patinated and unpati- 
nated Ramah account for 89.2% of the material. 
Patinated Ramah chert constitutes a larger proportion 
of the Ramah chert flakes by weight (21 .7%) than by 
frequency (1 0.1%). 



WEBB BAY-PORT MANVERS RUN: SMALL SCALE INVESTIGATIONS 



265 




46x47y 49x47y 



186/ Attu's Bight L3/6: tool distribution. 



46x52y 



46x47y 



49x52y 





RC=3 


RC= 32 


RC= 20 
PAT=4 


RC=4 
PAT= 1 
GR= 1 
GM= 1 


RC= 28 
PAT=9 


RC= 55 
PAT= 14 


RC= 16 
PAT=2 
SL= 1 
Q= 1 


RC=8 


RC= 21 


RC= 43 
PAT= 6 


RC= 257 
PAT= 8 


RC= 28 
PAT= 7 


missing 
data 


RC= 139 
PAT= 1 



Deflated portion 

RC=84 

PAT=4 



/ 



RC= 172 
PAT= 65 
SL=2 





RC= 45 




PAT=2 




GR= 1 



RC= 20 



50x50y 



53x50y 



L-1 (10 cm) 
RC=7 
GR= 1 

GM= Gray Mugford chert 

GR= Greenstone 

PAT= Patinated Ramah chert 

Q= Quartz 

RC= Ramah chert 

SL= Slate 



49x47y 



187/ Attu's Bight L-3/6: flake distribution. 



266 



CHAPTER 1 2 



L-3/6 Ramah Chert Flake Size Distribution 



35 
30 
25 
20 

I 

15 
10 
5 





<5 



<15 <20 <25 <30 <35 <40 <45 <50 <55 
5 mm classes 



1 88/ Attu's Bight L-3/6: Ramah chert flake size distribution. 



Table 70. Attu's Bight L-3/6 Total Lithic Raw 
Material Weights (Flakes and Tools). In Grams. 



Flakes g 


Tools g 


TOTAL g (%) 


Ramah chert 


434.0 


66.2 


500.2 


(71.6) 


Patinated Ramah 


120.0 


3.0 


123.0 (17.6) 


Gray slate 


0.8 




0.8 


(0.1) 


Green slate 


3.0 


3.0 




(0.4) 


Red slate 


68.0 


68.0 




(9.7) 


Greenstone 


2.4 


2.4 




(0.3) 


Gray Mugford chert 


0.5 


0.5 




(0.1) 


Quartz 


0.5 


0.5 




(0.1) 


TOTAL 


629.2 


143.6 


624.0 





Tool Assemblage 

Stemmed points: The three stemmed points are all 
made of Ramah chert. Two are stem fragments of sim- 
ilar dimensions that retain striking platforms on their 
bases (Figure 190:e, f). The third is a marginally 
retouched flake fragment with a striking platform or 
break at the base of a slight stem (Figure 190:1); it is 
unclear if this is a finished product or a preform. 

Bifaces: Two Ramah chert biface fragments were recov- 
ered, one a medial portion the other a distal element 



bearing an impact fracture 
(Figure 1 90:d, h). Both are prob- 
ably from stemmed points. 

Flake points: The single exam- 
ple, made of Ramah chert, is a 
medial fragment with dorsal 
marginal retouch on opposite 
lateral edges (Figure 190:g). 



Stemmed flakes: This Ramah 
chert implement (Figure 190:m) 
exhibits limited marginal 
retouch on opposite edges that 
creates a stem-like constriction; 
the stem base was thinned to 
remove the striking platform. It could be a point pre- 
form or simply a utilized flake. 

Utilized flakes: All of the 1 utilized flakes are made of 
Ramah chert. One fragment has fine bifacial marginal 
retouch on opposite edges, possibly indicative of 
intended use as a flake point. Two implements are 
made on large biface-thinning flakes, probably derived 
from quarry blanks. 

Celts: The implement identified as a celt is a medial 
fragment made on a plate of red slate (Figure 191:b). 
The only grinding occurs on two opposite edges that 
are ground perpendicular to the plate surface (W= 70.0 
mm, TH= 14.7). 

Ground slate flakes: The single example is made of 
green slate. 

Split cobbles: A water-rolled flat cobble is split trans- 
versely and bears a faint trace of red ocher on its edge. 
It may have functioned as a hammerstone, red ocher 
crusher, or both. 



WEBB BAY-PORT MANVERS RUN: SMALL SCALE INVESTIGATIONS 



267 



46x52y 



46x47y 



49x52y 





1/1 


6/2 


9/3 


3 


4/1 


5/3 


6/3 


1/1 


7/5 


3/2 


17/4 


10/2 


missing 
data 


21/6 



deflated portion 
/ 11/1 



12/6 



11 



7/2 



50x50y 



53x50y 



Ramah chert biface-thinning flakes 
total/large 



49x47y 



1 89/ Attu's Bight L-3/6 distribution of Ramah chert biface-thmning flakes. 



Discussion 

The excavation of L-3/6 suggests that two components 
may be present. The earlier component is the floor 
buried 35-45 cm below the modern surface. It contains 
two hearth features with virtually identical radiocarbon 
dates (4080±100 B.P. and 4080±90 B.P.). The charcoal 
comprising these samples was not identified to wood 
species, so it is possible that if spruce trees were used 
the dates could be somewhat older than the occupa- 
tion. The later component is a trace layer 1 cm below 
the modern surface, inferred from a few in situ flakes, 
a split cobble, a small red ochre stain and deflated 
Ramah chert flakes lying near the same level. There are 
no clear chronological indicators for the later compo- 
nent, but enough time elapsed for at least two humus 
layers to have developed and been covered by drifting 
sand. This two component interpretation falls if the 
upper layer is composed of redeposited material. 
Smithsonian field notes suggested a Sandy Cove-like 
point from L-9 could indicate occupations pre-dating 



4500 B.P.. However, nothing else in the artifactual 
material suggests anything other than a Rattler's Bight 
Phase dating and the slight differences in beach ter- 
race elevation do not provide much basis for relative 
dating within the site. Consequently, the vast majority 
of the material probably pertains to repeated occupa- 
tion during the Rattler's Bight Phase. 

Linear scatters of Ramah chert such as those 
found at Attu's Bight have been interpreted as traces 
of Maritime Archaic longhouse structures (Fitzhugh 
1981, 1984). While this may have been the case here, 
we should not assume that flake scatters ranging from 
40-1 20 m long necessarily represent single continuous 
structures. Besides the possibility of non-contempora- 
neous overlap, the stratigraphic situation at L-3/6 rais- 
es the possibility that some of the flake scatters in 
deflated parts of the site could be palimpsests of more 
than one occupation. 

Two aspects of Attu's Bight seem significant in 
comparison with some other Rattler's Bight Phase 



268 



CHAPTER 1 2 




190/ Attu's Bight Tools, a stemmed point, L-7: b: flal<e 
point, L-12, c: biface preform, north of L-4: d: biface 
mid-section, L-3/6: e, f: point stems, L-3/6: g: flal<e point 
fragment, L-3/6: h: biface tip, L-3/6: i: biface edge, L-1: 
j: biface tip, L-1: k: biface base, L-1: I stemmed pomt 
preform, L-3/6, m: stemmed flake (point preform), L-3/6. 

sites. First, considering how much of the site has been 
exposed on the surface there are very few visible fea- 
tures, such as stone-lined hearths. This may reflect 
either the lack of readily available rocks in the sand- 
gravel deposits, or a lack of investment in hearth con- 
struction. Excavation of the in situ deposit at L-3/6 
indicates that hearths there were kindled on the 
ground surface or merely consisted of a cluster of 
small cobbles. There are, however, two possible burial 
cairns (L-10, L-1 1), an oval cobble ring {L-8) and a sub- 
rectangular rock feature of uncertain function (L-2). 
The lack of investment in features is paralleled by the 



b 




1 91 / Attu's Bight Tools, a: polished slate flake, L-1, b: celt 
fragment, L-3/6. 

second significant aspect of the site: a low rate of tool 
discard. Although a considerable amount of debitage 
is present, there are relatively few tools on the surface. 
Such a pattern suggests time spent "gearing up" 
(Binford 1979:268), producing or repairing tools to be 
used and discarded elsewhere. This inference is sup- 
ported by the presence of many biface-thinning flakes 
and especially the high frequency of large flakes likely 
derived from the reduction of quarry blanks. Thus, in 
terms of these depositional patterns and their implied 
curation processes, Attu's Bight seems to be a short- 
term aggregation site. 

In light of the foregoing, Attu's Bight is not a 
good candidate for the elusive Maritime Archaic 
fall/winter sites, postulated to lie in the inner bays 
(Fitzhugh 1978:83-84). In terms of (contemporary) 
resource availability, the most likely seasons for the 
occupation of Attu's Bight would be late spring and 
early fall, when seals, waterfowl and caribou could 



WEBB BAY-PORT MANVERS RUN: SMALL SCALE INVESTIGATIONS 



269 



be hunted and char and salmon caught. The site is 
positioned almost equidistant between the entrance 
to Port Manvers Run and the narrow passage 
between Igloo Island and the mainland, both of 
which are constrictions where it might have been 
easier to exploit herds of migrating harp seals in the 
spring or fall. One might also suggest the area could 
have been used for "gearing up" with wood products 
prior to moving further north, but the paucity of 
slate woodworking tools and slate debitage might 
argue against that. 

On the other hand, it may not be the exploita- 
tion of local resources so much as the location of 
the site that is most relevant to its interpretation. 
Attu's Bight is situated 1 .5 km west of the entrance 
to Port Manvers Run and its broad beach terrace was 
probably the best location for a large group gather- 
ing that could be found in the region between Webb 
Bay and Thalia Point on the coast. In this respect 
Attu's Bight is physically and topographically similar 
to large aggregation sites like Nulliak Cove-1, north 
of Hebron (Fitzhugh 1 981 , 1 984, 1 985a). Since it is 
likely that the Run was used as a travel corridor to 
avoid rough weather on the outer coast, it is reason- 
able to suggest that the main function of the site 
was as a temporary staging area for travel towards 
the north or south. Although these topographic or 
physical attractors may have been the main vari- 
ables for site location, positioning of the site a 
short distance west of the Run could also have been 
a response to inter-cultural relations. Given the indi- 
cations of a strong Pre-Dorset presence in the Run, 
placement of the site slightly back from the 
entrance to the Run could be seen as spatial distan- 
ciation from an area of frequent Pre-Dorset activity. 
Alternatively, Attu's Bight might have been selected 
on the grounds of relative proximity to the Pre- 
Dorset "central place" at the Attu's Point site, mere- 
ly 1 .8 km to the west, if a more interactive relation- 
ship with Pre-Dorset is postulated. On the other 
hand, it is also possible that Attu's Bight was no 



longer used after Pre-Dorset colonized the Main 
area. The implications of these points will be dis- 
cussed further in Chapter 14. 

WEBB POINT (HeCk-6) 

At the southern entrance to Webb Bay is a prominent 
tombolo beach that forms the spine of Webb Point. 
The beach runs roughly north-south, is bounded at 
each end by a rock outcrop, and has steep eastern 
and western edges. Its surface is almost entirely 
deflated. Since this seemed like an ideal location for 
a Maritime Archaic site the point was surveyed 
briefly in 1993, with another short follow-up visit in 
1 994. No elevation was recorded for the Webb Point 
terrace, but it seems higher than Attu's Bight (i.e., 
>19-21 m). Five small localities (L-1 to L-5) were 
identified on the primary beach surface, two more (L- 
6 and L-7) were recorded slightly down-slope of the 
northwestern corner of the beach, while one (L-8) 
was observed down-slope to the northeast. 

L-1 was located near the rock outcrop at the 
northern end of the main beach terrace and consist- 
ed of a few Ramah chert flakes and tools. A stemmed 
point and a flake point of Ramah chert were surface- 
collected. The stemmed point is similar to Rattlers 
Bight styles (Figure 1 79:m). The dorsal side of the 
implement is completely flaked but the ventral side 
is retouched only on the lateral margins. A remnant 
striking platform runs oblique to the stem base and 
although the shoulders and upper stem are 
retouched the basal portion is unmodified, presum- 
ably unfinished (L = 47.9 mm, W = 26.4, TH = 6.1). 
The flake point (Figure 1 79:n) is formed by unifacial 
dorsal retouch limited to the edge margins (L = 33.1 
mm, W = 13.8, TH = 2.7, stem L = 10.6, stem 
W [shoulder] = 9.2, stem W (base) = 7.7). 

L-2 was situated near the southeastern corner of 
the terrace and consisted of a small rock mound, 
1 m in diameter, with no visible lithic association. 
It resembled the cobble features at Attu's Bight (L-1 
and L-1 1) and may be a burial cairn. L-3, L-4 and L-5 



270 



CHAPTER 1 2 



were all located towards the southern end of the ter- 
race and all consisted of small scatters of Ramah 
chert flakes. L-6 was a gently sloping beach surface 
situated 40-50 m northwest of, and several meters 
below, the rock outcrop at the northwest end of the 
beach. L-5 contained a blow-out with exposed flakes 
of Ramah and Mugford chert and a Ramah chert 
biface stem, possibly Maritime Archaic (Figure 
179:k). Small cobbles and charcoal flecks were also 
visible on the surface. A 50 by 50 cm test pit adja- 
cent to the blow-out produced some charcoal, but no 
associated cultural material. Systematic shovel tests 
were conducted up and down the L-6 beach, but they 
did not reveal additional traces of occupation. 

L-7 was a lithic scatter in a deflated sandy cleft 
beside the bedrock knoll at the north end of the 
main terrace and up-slope from L-6. Flake material 
exposed on the surface consisted of Mugford chert, 
crystal quartz and slate. A surface collection pro- 
duced a few Pre-Dorset tools and a biface of either 
Pre-Dorset or Maritime Archaic origin. The Pre- 
Dorset implements include a medial fragment of a 
Pre-Dorset crystal quartz biface with fine parallel 
pressure flaking (Figure 1 79:j), two small microb- 
lade fragments of dark gray Mugford chert, a com- 
plete burin spall of gray Mugford chert and a uti- 
lized flake of patinated Mugford chert. The medial 
portion of a burned Ramah chert biface (Figure 
1 79:1) might be Maritime Archaic, but a Ramah chert 
biface of similar width (ca. 40 mm) was found in a 
Pre-Dorset context at Attu's Point (Figure 201 ;a. 
Chapter 1 3). A blow-out 1 5 m north of L-7 contained 
a dark gray Mugford chert microblade fragment. A 
test pit excavated beside the blow-out did not reveal 
additional cultural material. Finally, L-8 was located 
downslope from the northeast corner of the main 
beach terrace. Yellowish-green slate flakes similar 
to those found in Pre-Dorset sites in the area were 
observed on the surface. 



Discussion 

Webb Point provides evidence for limited Maritime 
Archaic and Pre-Dorset activity. The most definite 
traces of Maritime Archaic presence were found on 
the prominent terrace, where evidence for Pre- 
Dorset was lacking. The stemmed point and flake 
point found at L-1 might indicate a Rattlers Bight 
phase or slightly earlier occupation. Pre-Dorset 
appears restricted to the lower beach levels, 
although possible Maritime Archaic implements 
were found at L-6 and L-7. The varying beach eleva- 
tions may indicate chronological differences in 
occupation period, but the material is so scanty that 
no reliable conclusions can be drawn. The minimal 
occupation of the main beach terrace was surprising 
given its topographic prominence and its physical 
similarities with the beach terrace at Attu's Bight. 
Indeed, the limited use of Webb Point contrasts 
strongly with the amount of Maritime Archaic and 
Pre-Dorset activity on the north shore of Webb Bay. 

The next chapter (13) describes Attu's Point, a 
major Pre-Dorset locality on the north shore of 
Webb Bay. Following that, Chapter 14 integrates the 
material presented in Chapters 1 2 and 1 3 and welds 
it into a more comprehensive discussion of Maritime 
Archaic/Pre-Dorset social relations in northern 
Labrador. 



WEBB BAY-PORT MANVERS RUN: SMALL SCALE INVESTIGATIONS 



271 




Northern entrance to Port Manvers Run, Thalia Point on right. July 1997. (Photo B. Hood) 



272 



CHAPTER 1 3 



Attu's Point: A Pre-Dorset 
Centra! Place'' on Webb Baij 



In 1993 surveys were undertaken west of the 
entrance to Port Manvers Run along the north 
shore of Webb Bay. A Pre-Dorset locality dubbed 
Attu's Point (HeCk-5) was discovered near a rocky 
point overlooking the narrow tickle between Igloo 
Island and the mainland (Figure 163). In the middle 
of a raised beach was an extremely well-preserved 
axial structure containing a box-hearth filled with 
thermoliths.^ 

The initial survey identified at least a dozen 
loci of Pre-Dorset activity, of which five had traces 
of dwelling structures, as well as a locus with 
Maritime Archaic material. Since Attu's Point lay 
only 1.8 km west of the Late Maritime Archaic 
occupation at Attu's Bight, and since Attu's Point is 
the only major Pre-Dorset inner bay locality in the 
Main region, the site was deemed high priority and 
was investigated further in 1994. The 1994 work 
identified several additional loci, for a total of 21 
find spots. These substantial traces of occupation 
suggest that Attu's Point was a "central place" in 
the Nain region Pre-Dorset settlement system: a 
repeatedly used seasonal site that contrasts with 
the scattered and ephemeral small localities that 
otherwise characterize Pre-Dorset landscape use. 



OVERVIEW 

The Attu's Point site is spread out along two west-fac- 
ing raised beach terraces ranging between 10-12 m 
asl. (Figures 1 92 and 1 93). The beach deposits consist 
of medium-sized gravel and they are bordered on the 
southeast and west by eroded outcrops of anorthosite 
bedrock. Some portions of the beaches are deflated 
while other parts are covered with a thin layer of crow- 
berry or moss. Open spruce forest begins immediately 
east of the site. 

The 21 loci were arranged in three linear distribu- 
tions on different beach levels. L-1 to L-5, L-20 and L- 
21 lay near the edge of the 1 m beach terrace, L-6 to 
L-8 and L-1 7 were in a line slightly higher up and L-9 
to L-1 6, L-1 8 and L-1 9 lay on the uppermost terrace 
between 11-12 m. At least one structure from each of 
these three levels was excavated or tested (L-1 , L-5, L- 
7 and L-9) and surface collections were made at some 
of the other loci. All but one locus exhibited evidence 
of Pre-Dorset material; L-1 2 produced traces of Late 
Maritime Archaic. 

Each of the excavated features will be described in 
turn, along with a spatial analysis and descriptive sum- 
mary of the tools. The surface collected loci will then 
be described briefly. A summary of the significant spa- 
tial patterns and a general culture-historical conclusion 
is presented at the end of the chapter. 



^Thermolith is a generic descriptor for rocks heated within a box-hearth for uncertain intended function (heating, cooking 
or other practices); it denotes both fire-cracked and non-thermally altered specimens. 



ATTU'S POINT: A PRE-DORSET "CENTRAL PLACE" ON WEBB BAY 



273 



1 92/ Attu's Point overview towards the northeast. 



EXCAVATION AND COLLECTION 
METHODS 

Excavation of the structures involved removal of the 
thin crowberry vegetation mat and troweling through 
the upper few centimeters of the beach gravel. Given 
time constraints, the size of the excavation areas at 
each structure was relatively small. Although most of 
the structurally relevant space was excavated at L-1 , L- 
5 and L-7, a better picture would be available if a larg- 
er area around the periphery of the features had been 
exposed. All tools were point-plotted. Flakes were 
point-plotted by raw material types, then bagged by 
1 m^ units. The gravel was not screened, so small 
implements such as burin spalls and retouch flakes 
may be somewhat under-represented. 

L-1 Excavation 

L-l was located on the lowest beach ridge, 10 m asl. 
(Figure 193). Because the 1993 survey produced an 



interesting surface collection and suggested the 
presence of structural remains, a 14 m^ area was 
excavated in 1 994, revealing a cluster of rocks asso- 
ciated with hearth remnants (Figures 194 and 195). 
The presumed structural feature consisted of a 
north-south oriented concentration of rocks covering 
an area of 3.5 by 2.0 m. A hearth area composed of 
three flat slabs and a charcoal concentration was 
identifiable at the northern end of the concentration. 
A small charcoal sample from the hearth was radio- 
carbon dated to 3750±60 B.P. (Beta-7761 1 ; ^ ^c/l 
ratio -26.1). A line of three rocks extending north- 
west from the hearth to a small boulder gave the 
impression of perimeter delineation, but it was oth- 
erwise difficult to discern an internal order in the 
associated scatter of rocks. The feature may have 
been disturbed, but it is possible that it was orient- 
ed differently from our expectations, or that it is not 
of the anticipated axial form. 



274 



CHAPTER 1 3 



Tool Distribution Table 71. Attu's Point L-1: 

A total of 49 tools was recovered. Figure 196 shows Tool Classes by K-Means Cluster. 



the tool distribution and the results of a /c-means clus- 
ter analysis. A five cluster solution seemed best, defin- 




C-1 


C-2 C 3 C 4 


C 5 


TOTAL 
N (%) 


ing a hearth-centered group (cluster 5), another im- 


Endblades 


4 






4 (8.2) 


mediately west of the hearth (cluster 3), a small cluster 


Endblade preforms 


1 


1 2 




4 (8.2) 


near the western boundary of the excavation (cluster 


Bifaces 




1 1 




2 (4.1) 


1), and two diffuse clusters on the southern side of the 


Burin spalls 


1 


1 5 


4 


11 (22.5) 


excavation (clusters 2 and 4). Table 71 compares the 


Microblades 


3 


2 4 1 


3 


1 3 (26.4) 


tool contents of these clusters. Although it is difficult 


Scrapers 


1 


1 




2 (4.1) 


to draw inferences from such low frequencies there is 


Scraper/burins 


1 






1 (2.0) 


a contrast between the prevalence of burin spalls, 


Utilized flakes 


2 


1 6 


1 


10 (20.4) 


microblades and utilized flakes in cluster 3 adjacent to 


Adzes/celts 




1 1 




2 (4.1) 


the hearth, and the concentration of endblades in clus- 


TOTAL 


13 


5 17 5 


9 


49 



ter 1 , 2 m west of the hearth. 




1 93/ Attu's Point site map. 



ATTU'S POINT; A PRE-DORSET "CENTRAL PLACE" ON WEBB BAY 



In the absence of a clearly 
defined axial feature, the spa- 
tial divisions used for the bilat- 
eral model-based tool distribu- 
tion analysis are association 
with the central rock feature, 
or placement on its east or 
west flanks (Table 72). The 
majority of tools (55.1%) lie in 
the vicinity of the rock feature. 
Although the frequencies are 
rather low, there are slight dif- 
ferences in where the tool 
types were discarded. Most of 
the endblades and preforms 
occur on the flanks of the rock 
feature, including a cluster of 
five implements deposited 
together on the west side (pos- 
sibly a cache), while the major- 
ity of the burin spalls, microb- 
lades and utilized flakes are 
closely associated with the fea- 
ture. Table 73 breaks down the 
tool distribution along a north- 
south division (front/back) 
running along the 6y grid line. 
In this case, nearly 80% of the 
tools lie on the northern (sea- 
ward) end of the rock feature, 
with endblades, burin spalls, 
microblades and utilized 
flakes being particularly well 
represented. 



4x8v 



6x8y 



N 



F Flat rock 
Q Charcoal 






3x4y 



6x4y 



/94/Afru's Point L-1 : rock feature and total flake distribution. 





195/ Attu's Point L-1 : overview towards the east. 



276 



CHAPTER 1 3 




3x4y 6x4y 



1 96/ Attu's Point L-1 : tool distribution with k-means dusters. 



Table 72. Attu's Point L-1: Table 73. Attu's Point L-1: Tool Classes by 

Tool Classes by Bilateral Position. North-South (Front/Back) Position. 





Central 
(Axial) 


East 


West 


TOTAL 
N (%) 




North 
(Front) 


South 
(Back) 


TOTAL 

N (%) 


Endblades 






4 


4 


(8.2) 


Endblades 


4 




4 (8.2) 


Endblade prefo 


rms 1 


2 


1 


4 


(8.2) 


Endblade preforms 2 


2 


4 (8.2) 


Bifaces 


1 


2 




2 


(4.1) 


Bifaces 


1 


1 


2 (4.1) 


Burin spalls 


9 


1 


1 


1 1 


(22.5) 


Burin spalls 


10 


1 


1 1 (22.4) 


Microblades 


7 


3 


3 


1 3 


(26.4) 


Microblades 


10 


3 


1 3 (26.5) 


Scrapers 


1 




1 


2 


(4.1) 


Scrapers 


1 


1 


2 (4.1) 


Scraper/burins 






1 


1 


(2.0) 


Scraper/burins 


1 




1 (2.0) 


Utilized flakes 


7 


1 


2 


10 


(20.4) 


Utilized flakes 


9 


1 


10 (20.4) 


Celts/adzes 


1 


1 




2 


(4.1) 


Celts/adzes 


1 


1 


2 (4.1) 


TOTAL 


27 


9 


13 


49 




TOTAL 


39 


10 


49 



ATTU'S POINT: A PRE-DORSET "CENTRAL PLACE" ON WEBB BAY 



277 




Tool raw material distribution patterns can be 
evaluated visually in Figure 197. Mugford chert tools 
tend to lie near the central rock feature, although they 
are also found on its flanks. Crystal quartz tools are 
clustered near the hearth (similar to the flake distribu- 
tion, see below). The other materials are too few to 
indicate a pattern, but the two implements of Ramah 
chert are located some distance away from the central 
rock feature. Quantitatively, the distributions can first 
be evaluated by their location relative to east-west 
bilaterality (Table 74). The only clear pattern is the 
exclusive association of crystal quartz with the rock 
feature. When broken down by the north-south 
(front/back) division (Table 75) there is little clear pat- 
terning other than the exclusive association of crystal 
quartz and gray-speckled chert with the northern 
(hearth-related) division. Tool raw materials can also 
be seen in relation to the /(-means clusters (Table 76), 



but the numbers are too low for the comparison to be 
worth much. 

Table 74. Attu's Point L-1: Tool Raw Material 



Frequencies by Bilateral Position. 



Central 
(Axial) 


East 


West 


TOTAL 

N (%) 


Dark gray Mugford chert 1 2 


2 


4 


18(36.7) 


Light gray Mugford chert 6 


4 


6 


16(32.7) 


Cray-speckled chert 2 




1 


3 (6.1) 


Black chert 




1 


1 (2.0) 


Ramah chert 


1 


1 


2 (4.1) 


Crystal quartz 6 






6(12.3) 


Gray silicified slate 


1 




1 (2.0) 


Slate 1 


1 




2 (4.1) 


TOTAL 27 


9 


13 


49 



278 



CHAPTER 1 3 



4x8y 



6x8y 



3x4y 



3x4y 



o 







oo. 




0^ 



Mugford chert flakes 
(all variants) 

4x8y 



6x4y 



6x8y 



3x4y 



6 



^ 
oo 




6x4y 



3x4y 



Black chert flakes 



1 98/ Attu's Point L-1 flake raw material distributions. 



3x4y 



r^/ — ? I ! 




Patinated chert flakes 

4x8y 




Crystal quartz flakes 



4x8y 



6x8y 



O 



oo 



'O 



u 




Ramah chert flakes 



ATTU'S POINT: A PRE-DORSET "CENTRAL PLACE" ON WEBB BAY 



279 



Table 75. Attu's Point L-1: Tool Raw Materials by 
North-South (Front-Back) Position. 





North 


South 


TOTAL 
N (%) 


Dark gray Mugford chert 


1 5 


3 


18 (36.7) 


Light gray Mugford chert 


12 


4 


16 (32.7) 


Cray-speckled chert 


3 




3 (6.1) 


Black chert 


1 




1 (2.0) 


Ramah chert 


1 


1 


2 (4.1) 


Crystal quartz 


6 




6 (12.3) 


Cray silicified slate 




1 


1 (2.0) 


Slate 


1 


1 


2 (4.1) 


TOTAL 


39 


10 


49 



Flake Distribution 

The total flake distribution (Figure 194) parallels the 
tool groupings identified by the cluster analysis (Figure 
196). There are concentrations on either side of the 
hearth (similar to tool clusters 3 and 5), a tight concen- 
tration west of the hearth (cluster 1 ) and a diffuse con- 
centration in the southeast corner of the excavation 
(cluster 2). Figure 198 presents point-plots for each 
flake raw material type while Figure 199 displays 
quadrat counts. The Mugford and patinated chert distri- 
butions are very similar, which is not surprising since 
the latter is probably a weathered version of Mugford 
chert. They are spread in a roughly linear east-west dis- 
tribution centered on the hearth area at the northern 
end of the rock feature. The marked concentration of 
Mugford chert on the western side of the excavation 
lies only a few centimeters distant from the tight tool 
concentration of cluster 1, which included a cache of 
four endblades and an endblade preform (all of 
Mugford chert), two microblades, a scraper and two uti- 
lized flakes. In the absence of refitting data, one might 
speculate as to the relation between the Mugford flake 
concentration and production of the endblades. 

The distributions of slate and Mugford chert are 
almost mutually exclusive. Slate clusters in the south- 
east corner of the excavation (with over 70% in a single 
unit), although a few flakes are present near the cen- 



ter. A slate adze bit was found 1 m west of the slate 
concentration. Mugford cherts have a more diffuse dis- 
tribution, but are mostly associated with the hearth 
area and the northwestern portion of the excavation. 
This placement broadly parallels the tool distribution. 
Crystal quartz occurs in a small cluster immediately 
west of the hearth, virtually in the center of the crystal 
quartz tool distribution, which was also hearth related 
(Figure 197). Black chert has a diffuse distribution, but 
occurs almost exclusively west of the rock feature; the 
single tool of this material lay west of the rock feature 
(Figure 197). The two Ramah chert flakes are found 
towards the north end of the rock feature. 

Table 77 outlines the distribution of flake raw 
materials according to their east-west bilateral posi- 
tion, tabulated by Im^ quadrats (unit 6x5y missing). 
Overall, the flakes are dominated by Mugford chert 
and slate; 61 .1% of the debitage was deposited on the 
west side of the structure, consistent with, though not 
as marked, as the tool distribution. A chi-square test 
(x^ = 85.80) indicates a statistically significant differ- 
ence between the two areas at the .05 level of signifi- 
cance. This difference is based on a marked tendency 
for light gray Mugford chert and crystal quartz to be 
found on the west side, while slate is associated prima- 
rily with the east side. Variation can also be seen in the 
north-south (front/back) direction, with a not entirely 
artificial division imposed along the 6y line. Table 78 
indicates that 64.6% of the debitage is found on the 
north side of the rock feature. A chi-square test ("2 = 
103.59) indicates a statistically significant difference 
between the two areas. The pattern is linked to the 
high frequency of light gray Mugford chert (and to a 
much lesser extent, patinated chert and crystal quartz) 
on the north side versus a preponderance of slate on 
the south. 

Integration 

The distribution of Mugford chert and crystal quartz 
tools and flakes is largely coterminus, while the slate, 
black chert and Ramah chert implements are found 



280 



CHAPTER 1 3 







1 






1 








3 















Black chert flakes 





4 


2 




2 


5 




2 


5 


14 


16 




1 


5 


10 


33 



Light gray Mugford chert flakes 





41 


4 






6 








3 


2 








1 















2 








2 


14 













Crystal quartz flakes 













6 






2 


6 


6 






1 


4 


7 



Patinated chert flakes 





















1 










1 


3 



Dark gray Mugford chert flakes 



Ramah chert flakes 



Slate flakes 



Gray speckled Mugford chert flakes 



1 99/ Attu's Point L-1 : flake raw materials by quadrat. 



outside the distributions of their debitage. An 
attempt to refit burin spalls to the single 
scraper/burin was unsuccessful. While the spalls 
mostly cluster towards the north end of the rock fea- 
ture, generally associated with the hearth, the buri- 
nated implement lies on the western periphery of the 
excavation. 

Table 79 tabulates tool and flake raw materials 
by weight for L-1 as a whole. Slate is the dominant 
material (54.2%), with gray Mugford cherts ranked 
second (22.6%). Several observations can be made if 



Table 79 is used in conjunction with Tables 74 and 
77 (tool and flake frequencies). The high proportion 
of dark gray Mugford chert among the tools by both 
weight and frequency is not parallelled by a high pro- 
portion of such flakes; in fact, light Mugford chert 
dominates the debitage. This suggests most of the 
tools made of dark gray Mugford were manufactured 
elsewhere (either at Attu's Point or another site) and 
curated into the locus. The opposite pattern is seen 
with patinated chert; no tools were present but a 
modest amount of debitage was, indicating the 



ATTU'S POINT A PRE DORSET "CENTRAL PLACE" ON WEBB BAY 



281 



Table 76. Attu's Point L-1: Tool Raw Material Frequencies by K-Means Cluster. 





V. 1 


C-2 








Dark gray Mugford chert 


4 


2 


6 1 


5 


18 


Light gray Mugford chert 


6 


2 


5 2 


1 


16 


Cray-speckled chert 


1 




2 




3 


Black chert 1 1 


Ramah chert 


1 


1 






2 


Crystal quartz 






3 


3 


6 


Cray silicified slate 1 1 


Slate 






1 1 




2 


TOTAL 


13 


5 


17 5 


9 


49 


Table 77. Attu's Point L-1 


Flake Raw Material Frequencies by East-West Bilateral Position. 






East 


West 


TOTAL N (%) 


Dark gray Mugford chert 




7 (5.9) 


4 (3.6) 




1 1 (4.8) 


Light gray Mugford chert 




33 (27.9) 


66 (59.5) 




99 (43.2) 


Cray-speckled chert 




1 (0.8) 


4 (3.6) 




5 (2.2) 


Patinated chert 




14 (11 .9) 


18 (16.2) 




32 (13.9) 


Black chert 




5 (4.3) 






5 (2.2) 


Ramah chert 






2 (1.8) 




2 (0.9) 


Crystal quartz 




4 (3.4) 


14 (12.6) 




18 (6.8) 


Slate 




54 (45.8) 


3 (2.7) 




57 (25.6) 


TOTAL 




94 


140 




229 



removal of tools from the locus. Ramah chert is bet- 
ter represented by tools than by flakes. 

Having presented the lithic distribution patterns 
along several dimensions, the overall spatial configura- 
tion at L-1 can be evaluated. The initial assumption 
was that the central rock feature could indicate a dis- 
turbed axial structure running roughly north-south, 
oblique to the beach front. Inspection of the individual 
distributions in relation to the feature suggests an 
alternative interpretation. If the more numerous item 
classes are considered (e.g., microblades, utilized 
flakes, Mugford chert tools, crystal quartz tools and 
flakes), there is a strong tendency for them to display 



a roughly northeast-west linear distribution ranging 
from the hearth to the edge of the excavation on the 
7x line. The clustering of slate flakes and some 
microblades in the southeast corner of the excavation 
is the primary deviation from this pattern. In light of 
these tendencies one can postulate an axial feature 
running parallel with the beach front and consisting of 
a hearth at its northeastern end and a small, roughly 
rectangular feature 1 by 2 m in size that extends west- 
wards. The presence of a similar configuration at L-5 
(see below) might support this interpretation. It is also 
instructive to compare the small concentration of 
Mugford chert flakes in the northwest corner of the L- 



282 



CHAPTER 1 3 



Table 78. Attu's Point L-1: Flake Raw Material Frequencies by North-South (Front-Back) Position 





North (Front) 


South (Back) 


TOTAL N (%) 


Dark gray Mugford chert 


b (4.U) 


5 (6.2) 


1 1 (4.8) 


Light gray Mugford chert 


OA tec O \ 

o4 (5b. o) 


15 (18.5) 


99 (43.2) 


Cray-speckled chert 


C to A\ 

5 (3.4) 




5 (2.2) 


Patinated chert 


-) C / 1 "7 C \ 

(1 /.d) 


6 (7.4) 


32 (1 3.9) 


Black chert 


i U.O) 


2 (2.5) 


5 (2.2) 


Ramah chert 


2 (1.3) 




2 (0.9) 


Crystal quartz 


16 (10.8) 


2 (2.5) 


18 (6.8) 


Slate 


6 (4.1) 


51 (62.9) 


57 (25.6) 


TOTAL 


148 


81 


229 



Table 79. Attu's Point L-1: Total Lithic Raw Material Weights (Tools and Flakes). In Grams. 





Tools g (%) 


Flakes g (%) 


TOTAL g (%) 


Dark gray Mugford chert 


32.5 


(10.8) 


16.1 


(9.0) 


48.6 


(10.1) 


Light gray Mugford chert 


21.3 


(7.1) 


38.6 


(21.6) 


59.9 


(12.5) 


Cray-speckled chert 


19.1 


(6.4) 


4.9 


(2.7) 


24.0 


(5.0) 


Patinated chert 






13.2 


(7.4) 


13.2 


(2.8) 


Black chert 


1.0 


(0.3) 


2.1 


(1.2) 


3.1 


(0.6) 


Ramah chert 


41.7 


(1 3.9) 


0.8 


(0.4) 


42.5 


(8.9) 


Crystal quartz 


1 1 .7 


(3.9) 


16.6 


(9.3) 


28.3 


(5.9) 


Slate 


173.0 


(57.6) 


86.8 


(48.5) 


259.8 


(54.2) 



1 excavation— which would lie at the western end of a 
beach-parallel axial feature— with the concentration of 
Mugford chert flakes at the foot of the axial structure 
at L-7 (see below). In any event, it appears that the L- 
1 hearth is located at the terminal end of a feature 
rather than in the middle, as expected from a classic 
axial structure. Another possibility is that the scatter of 
rocks in the southwestern portion of the excavation 
may represent a second overlapping feature. 

L-1 Tool Assemblage 

Endblades: Three of the four endblades are complete, 
one is a distal fragment (Figure 200:a-d). Three are 
made of dark gray Mugford chert, one of light gray 



Mugford chert. The complete specimens are triangular 
and two have straight bases and biconvex cross-sec- 
tions (L= 25.1, 16.1, 21.4 mm, W= 9.5, 7.7, 9.2, TH= 
2.2, 1.5, 1.9). One implement has a plano-convex 
cross-section and a concave base (depth= 1 .3 mm); its 
dorsal face is completely retouched, but ventrally only 
the edge margins are retouched (Figure 200:d). The 
lateral edges of the latter specimen are distinctly ser- 
rated; the other three endblades also have slightly ser- 
rated edges. 

Endblade preforms: Of the four endblade pre- 
forms (Figure 200:e-h), one is complete, two are prox- 
imal fragments and one a distal fragment. Two are 
made of light gray Mugford chert, one of dark gray 



ATTU'S POINT A PRE-DORSET "CENTRAL PLACE" ON WEBB BAY 



283 




f g h 




200/ Attu's Point L-1 tools, a-d endblades; e-h: endblade 
preforms. 

Mugford chert and one of crystal quartz. Two of the 
three specimens with a proximal portion exhibit 
straight bases while the third is straight-based with an 
eared basal corner (Figure 200:f). The complete imple- 
ment of crystal quartz (Figure 200:e) has near-final 
retouch completed from its tip to its medial region and 
an unfinished basal portion, indicating a distal to prox- 
imal flaking sequence (L= 23.8 mm, W= 1 6.1 , TH= 8.6). 
The two proximal fragments differ somewhat in width 
(W= 1 3.4, 1 9.9 mm, TH= 2.8, 3.4). One of these frag- 
ments (Figure 200:g) is flaked mostly on its dorsal 
face, upon which two long parallel basal-thinning 
flakes were removed medially. 

Bifaces: Two biface fragments were recovered, 
one made of Ramah chert, one of crystal quartz. The 
Ramah chert specimen (Figure 201 :a) is the proximal 
end of a biface that originally must have been ca. 10 
cm long (W= 39.3 mm, TH= 6.9). There is a remnant 
striking platform near the base, which seems less fin- 
ished than the rest of the implement. The crystal 
quartz specimen is a small lateral edge fragment. 

Combination scraper/burins: The single speci- 
men of a combination scraper/burin (Figure 201 :c) is 
made on a blade-like flake of dark gray Mugford chert 
(L= 70.5 mm, W= 20.6, TH= 8.1). It consists of a con- 




d f 

^!!!B5il^S!Siiiai^!? CM. 

O I £ J •? 5 



201 / Attu's Point L-1 tools, a biface, b sidescraper; c: 
burm/sidescraper , d-e microblades. 




202/ Attu's Point L-1 tools, a: adze; b: celt/adze preform 
or proximal fragment. 



cave scraper running distally-medially on one lateral 
edge and a burination plane along the other lateral 
edge, with removals from a platform on the slightly 
convex, unifacially retouched distal end. The scraper 



284 



CHAPTER 1 3 



4x7y 



7x7y 



2x6y 



) 0' 



o 







o 

o 



,^0 








o 

— 1 — 















2x3y 



F Flat rock 
® Charcoal 



203/ Attu's Point L-5: features and total flake distribution. 

edge angle is 50 and there are three burin spall 
removals. Slightly below the mid-portion of each later- 
al edge there is a faint shoulder, which creates a slight 
stem effect proximally. A striking platform is present 
proximally and both the platform and bulb of percus- 
sion are highly polished, presumably by hafting wear. 
There is no facial grinding. The middle of the scraper 




204/ Attu's Point L-5: possible axial structure, view towards the southwest. 



edge and the distal end of the 
tool exhibit wear polish; the 
first burination scar has pol- 
ished edges and small fractures 
while the third burination scar 
has clear striations on the adja- 
cent ventral surface, perpendi- 
cular to the scar edge. 

Scrapers: Two implements 
were collected. A complete 
sidescraper (Figure 201 :b) is 
made of dark gray Mugford 
chert and has a slightly concave 
working edge (L= 43.8 mm, W= 
23.9, TH= 8.2). The tool is dor- 
sally retouched on all lateral 
edges while on the ventral side 
the proximal end has been 
flaked to thin out the bulb of 
percussion, although the striking platform remains at 
the base. The concave working edge and distal end are 
distinctly polished by wear. Seen alongside the combi- 
nation scraper/burin (Figure 201 ;c), it is likely that the 
sidescraper is a reworked and perhaps exhausted ver- 
sion of the latter, since both have very similar basal 
forms and dimensions. Rather than representing dif- 
ferent "types," they may indicate 
start and end points in a reduc- 
tion sequence. The second 
implement is an edge fragment 
made of black chert. 

Burin spalls: Of the 1 1 
burin spalls (MNI=10), seven 
were complete, three were 
proximal fragments and one a 
distal fragment. All were made 
of gray Mugford chert vari- 
ants. None bore traces of 
grinding and all were second- 
ary spalls. Their metrics can 
be summarized as follows: 



ATTU'S POINT A PRE-DORSET "CENTRAL PLACE" ON WEBB BAY 



285 



xL = 1 5.9, r = 9.2-21 .8, xW = 3.3, r= 2.2-4.3, xTH = 
1 .7, r = 1 .1 -2.4. 

Microblades: Of the 1 3 microblades, three are 
complete, six are medial fragments, three are proximal 
fragments and one is a distal portion. Based on proxi- 
mal elements, MNI=1 0. Nine are made of gray Mugford 
cherts and four of crystal quartz. Two specimens 
(Figure 201:d,f) are large enough to be considered 
"macroblades" (L = 61.0, 56.7 mm, W = 17.7, 20.9, 
TH = 5.6, 4.8). Metrics for the others are as follows: 
xW = 9.4 mm, r = 6.1-15.0, xTH = 2.1, r = 1.4-2.9. 
Platform angles: 80* = 3, 75 = 1, 70' = 1. Platform 
preparation: retouched= 2, retouched/ground = 1, 
plain = 2. Eight specimens exhibit use-wear or light 
retouch. 

Adzes/Celts: The two specimens are fragmentary 
and both are made of green slate. The first is the dis- 
tal portion of an adze (Figure 202:a); one lateral edge 
is bifacially retouched while the other is retouched 



abruptly from the dorsal (top) side of the implement, 
resulting in an asymmetrical cross-section. A consider- 
able amount of cortex is still present on the dorsal sur- 
face. The dorsal edge of the bit is only polished 1-3 
mm back from the edge, while the ventral polishing is 
mostly limited to an area within 7.5 mm of the bit 
edge, although a few facets further back are also pol- 
ished. Use-wear consists of a slight rounding of the bit 
edge, although some rather large step fractures on 
one ventral corner may indicate heavier work pressure 
or retouch. L = >64 mm, W = 41.8, TH = 16.2, Edge 
Angle = 70'. 

The second specimen (Figure 202: b) is the prox- 
imal end of an adze or celt. It is made on a rectangu- 
lar slate tablet, the lateral edges of which are 
retouched with small flakes removed at 90' from both 
the dorsal and ventral surfaces of the tablet such that 
the squared edge and rectangular cross-section is 
maintained. The flake facets on what appears to be 




286 



CHAPTER 1 3 



Table 80. Attu's Point L-5: Tool Classes by K Means Cluster 





C-1 N (%) 


C-2 N (%) 


C-3 N (%) 


C-4 N (%) 


TOTAL N 


(%) 


Endblades 


1 (6.7) 




3 (8.4) 




4 


(5.6) 


Endblade preforms 






1 (2.8) 




1 


(1 .4) 


Stemmed points 








1 (14.3) 


1 


(1 .4) 


Biface fragments 




1 (7.7) 


3 (8.4) 




4 


(5.6) 


Burins 


1 (6.7) 




2 (5.6) 




3 


(4.2) 


Burin spalls 


2 (1 3.3) 


2 (1 5.4) 


9 (25.0) 


2 (28.5) 


1 5 


(21.1) 


Microblades 


4 (26.6) 


3 (23.1) 


12 (33.3) 


1 (14.3) 


20 


(28.1 ) 


Microblade cores 


1 (6.7) 




1 (2.8) 




2 


(2.8) 


Scrapers 




2 (1 5.4) 




1 (14.3) 


3 


(4.2) 


Scraper/burins 








1 (14.3) 


1 


(1.4) 


Utilized flakes 


6 (40.0) 


4 (30.7) 


5 (13.9) 


1 (14.3) 


16 


(22.4) 


Celts/adzes 




1 (7.7) 


1 (2.8) 




2 


(2.8) 


TOTAL 


15 


13 


36 


7 


71 





the dorsal surface are polished slightly and one later- 
al edge is slightly rounded. L = > 62 mm, W = 33.7, 
TH = 16.7. 

Utilized Flakes: Eight of the ten utilized flakes are 
made of gray Mugford chert, one of black chert and 
one of gray-speckled chert. 

L-5 EXCAVATION 

L-5 was located on the lowest beach ridge at 1 m asl. 
(Figure 193). Initially, L-5 appeared to contain the 
remains of a well-preserved axial structure, so an exca- 
vation of 21.5 m^ was opened up. Unfortunately, the 
structure turned out to be less distinct than anticipat- 
ed (Figures 203 and 204). Towards the southern end of 
the excavation was a hearth composed of a few flat 
slabs, a small scatter of charcoal and a number of 
small rocks that may have been thermoliths. What 
appeared to be the remnants of an axial structure 
extended out from the hearth, suggesting a feature 2 
m long, 0.75-1.0 m wide, oriented N-S, parallel with 



the shoreline, but with the hearth placed at one end of 
the axial structure rather than in the middle (cf., L-1). 
A small charcoal sample procured from the hearth area 
was radiocarbon dated to 3790±70 B.P. (Beta-77612; 
]3q/'\2q rgfiQ -24.7). To the north of the axial struc- 
ture was a cluster of rocks associated with a charcoal 
concentration and a substantial quantity of tools and 
debitage. This area may represent an outdoor dump or 
activity area at the entrance to the axial structure or it 
could be the remains of a second, badly disturbed 
axial structure with a NW-SE orientation. Finally, in the 
southwest corner of the excavation and just outside 
the excavation limits was another cluster of rocks, 
including a few flat slabs. Although there were no 
associated lithics, the rock cluster might indicate the 
presence of another feature. 

Tool Distribution 

A total of 82 tools was recovered; some were scattered 
around the postulated axial feature, but most (68.7%) 



^ Items excluded from the analysis due to lack of point provenience are displayed by quadrats in Figure 206. 
ATTU'S POINT: A PRE-DORSET "CENTRAL PLACE" ON WEBB BAY 



Table 81. Attu's Point L-5: Tool Classes by General Spatial Position. 





AXiai In 


(/o) 


iNOrin In 


(^; 


1 U 1 AL N 




Endblades 






A 

H 


(b. ! } 


4 


(4.y) 


Endblade preforms 






1 


( 1 .3) 


1 

1 


( 1 -*^) 


Endblades/points 






T 

L 


(3.U) 


c. 


KlA) 


Stemmed points 






1 
1 


(1.3) 


1 

1 




Biface fragments 






3 


//I c ^ 
(4.b) 


i 


(3.7) 


Burins 








(4.5) 


3 


(3.7) 


Burin spalls 


d. 


\\ l.^) 


1 c 


(ZZ.O) 


1 / 


(ZU. /) 


Microblades 


3 


( 1 O.O) 


1 D 




1 o 

1 y 


/ 3 3 3 \ 

(^3.2) 


Microblade cores 






~% 
L. 


(3.U) 


z 


/3 /l A 


Scrapers 




( 1 0.0) 






3 


(3./) 


Scraper/burins 


1 


(6.2) 






1 


(1.2) 


Utilized flakes 


6 


(37.5) 


18 


(27.3) 


24 


(29.3) 


Celts/adzes 


1 


(6.2) 


1 


(1.5) 


2 


(2.4) 


TOTAL 


16 




66 




82 





Table 82. Attu's Point L-5: Tool Raw Material Frequencies by General Spatial Position. 





Axial N 


(%) 


North 


N 


(%)TOTAL N 


(%) 


Dark gray Mugford chert 


6 


(37.6) 


30 


(45.5) 


36 


(43.9) 


Light gray Mugford chert 






3 


(4.5) 


3 


(3.7) 


Light gray silicified slate 


2 


(12.5) 


6 


(9.2) 


8 


(9.8) 


Patinated chert 






2 


(3.0) 


2 


(2.4) 


Gray-speckled chert 


1 


(6.2) 


5 


(7.6) 


6 


(7.3) 


Crystal Quartz 


2 


(12.5) 


8 


(12.1) 


10 


(12.2) 


Ramah chert 


3 


(18.8) 


8 


(12.1) 


1 1 


(13.4) 


Black chert 


1 


(6.2) 


3 


(4.5) 


4 


(4.9) 


Slate 


1 


(6.2) 


1 


(1.5) 


2 


(2.4) 


TOTAL 


16 




66 




82 





were located to the north in the possible dump/activi- 
ty area. A bilateral analysis could not be undertaken 
given the paucity of tools associated with the axial fea- 
ture. Instead, k-means cluster analysis was used to 
define groupings based on proximity rather than 
model-derived spatial categories. The analysis used a 



total of 71 tools for which precise point provenience 
was available; a four cluster solution seemed most 
appropriate (Figure 205). One of these clusters (cluster 
2) is centered on the hearth area of the axial structure 
while two others (clusters 1 and 3) partition the 
dump/activity area into two groups. Cluster 4 is a dif- 



288 



CHAPTER 1 3 



Table 83. Attu's Point L-5: Tool Raw Material Frequencies by K-Means Cluster. 





C-1 N (%) 


C-2 N (%) 


C-3 N (%) 


C-4 N (%) 


TOTAL N (%) 


Dark gray Mugford chert 


6 (40.0) 


3 (23.1) 


24 (67.7) 


2 (28.6) 


35 (49.3) 


Light gray Mugford chert 


1 (6.7) 




2 (5.5) 




3 (4.2) 


Light gray siliclfied slate 


2 (13.3) 


2 (1 5.4) 






4 (5.6) 


Patinated chert 






1 (2.8) 


1 (14.3) 


2 (2.8) 


Cray-speckled 


3 (20.0) 


1 (7.7) 


1 (2.8) 


1 (14.3) 


6 (8.5) 


Crystal quartz 


2 (13.3) 


2 (1 5.4) 




3 (42.8) 


7 (9.9) 


Ramah chert 


1 (6.7) 


3 (23.1) 


5 (13.9) 




9 (12.7) 


Black chert 




1 (7.7) 


2 (5.5) 




3 (4.2) 


Slate 




1 (7.7) 


1 (2.8) 




2 (2.8) 


TOTAL 


1 5 


13 


36 


7 


71 



fuse distribution of questionable significance immedi- 
ately northwest of the axial feature. Table 80 displays 
the variation in tool classes between the clusters. 
Cluster 3, immediately north of the presumed axial fea- 
ture, has by far the largest proportion of the tool col- 
lection (N = 37, 51 .4%). It also has a tendency towards 
more endblades, perhaps burins and burin spalls, as 
well as microblades and microblade cores. Cluster 2 













UF=4 


UF= 1 










UF= 1 


UF= 1 
EB= 1 








UF= 1 
Bl= 1 










BS= 1 





Utilized flakes (UP) 
Endblades (EB) 
Bifaces (Bl) 
Burin spalls (BS) 



206/ Attu's Point L-S no provenience tools by quadrat. 
ATTU'S POINT: A PRE-DORSET "CENTRAL PLACE" ON WEBB BAY 



(associated with the hearth) and cluster 1 exhibit some- 
what higher proportions of utilized flakes. 

A broader spatial comparison can be made 
between the frequency of tool types associated with 
the presumed axial feature and the concentration to 
the north of the feature using a dividing line running 
along 4.30x. Table 81 shows clear differences 
between the two subareas. Endblades, points, bifaces, 
burins and microblade cores are exclusively associat- 
ed with the northern subarea, while burin spalls and 
microblades are predominantly to the north. Scrapers 
and the combination scraper/burin are exclusive to 
the southern area associated with the axial feature. 
The relationship is statistically significant at the .05 
level (■/^= 22.49). 

The first step in evaluating variation in tool raw 
materials is to consider their distribution relative to 
the axial feature/northern subarea division used in the 
tool type analysis (Table 82). There is no significant 
difference between the two areas (-/^= 3.26). The dis- 
tribution of tool raw materials can also be compared 
across the cluster groups (Table 83). It is difficult to 
evaluate the low frequencies, but higher proportions of 
dark gray chert occur in clusters 1 and 3 and crystal 
quartz is absent from cluster 1 . Point distributions of 
tool raw materials are shown in Figure 207. 

289 



4x7y 



7x7y 



2x6y 




* A ^ ^ A 



2x3y 



o 



B Black chert 

♦ Crystal quartz 

A Dark gray Mugford chert 

+ Gray speckled Mugford chert 

• Light gray Mugford chert 
Light gray silicified slate 
■ Patinated chert 

* Ramah chert 

★ Slate 



207/ Attu's Point L-5 tool raw material distribution. 



Table 84. Attu's Point L-5: Flake Raw Material Frequencies by Analytical Quadrant. 





NW N (%) 


NE N (%) 


SW N (%) 


SE N (%) 


TOTAL N (%) 


Dark gray Mugford 


9 (10.7) 


21 


(12.0) 


4 


(13.8) 


3 


(10.7) 


37 


(1 1.7) 


Light gray Mugford 


1 (1.2) 


5 


(2.9) 


2 


(6.9) 


2 


(7.1) 


10 


(3.2) 


Gray-speckled chert 




10 


(5.7) 






1 


(3.6) 


1 1 


(3.5) 


Black chert 




2 


(1.1) 


1 


(3.4) 


1 


(3.6) 


4 


(1.3) 


Ramah chert 


5 (6.0) 


30 


(17.1) 


2 


(6.9) 


7 


(25.0) 


44 


(13.9) 


Patinated chert 


1 (1.2) 


12 


(6.9) 


1 


(3.4) 






14 


(4.4) 


Biostrome chert^ ^ 


1 (1.2) 














1 


(0.3) 


Crystal quartz 








1 


(3.4) 


3 


(10.7) 


4 


(1.3) 


Slate 


17 (20.2) 


78 


(44.6) 


6 


(20.7) 


8 


(28.6) 


109 


(34.5) 


Clastic slate^ ^ 


43 (51.2) 


1 7 


(9.7) 


8 


(27.6) 


2 


(7.1) 


70 


(22.2) 


Light gray silicified slate 


7 (8.3) 






4 


(13.8) 


1 


(3.6) 


12 


(3.8) 


TOTAL 


84 


1 75 




29 




28 




316 





^ 1 Biostrome chert denotes possible stromatolite structure. 

^ ^ Clastic slate denotes a material containing small rounded clast inclusions. 



290 



CHAPTER 1 3 



o 



h 



© o 







O 




Mugford chert flakes 
(all variants) 



if 



o 




Black chert flakes 



7x7y 







o 



oo'- 



o 



G7 o 







o' 




Go p. 



Q 



o 



o 




o 

-JO 

30 



• 



Patinated chert flakes 



Crystal quartz flakes 



o 



o .O 



O <3 



o 








Ramah chert flakes 



o 



2 



Slate flakes 




208/ Attu's Point L-5: flake raw material distributions. 



ATTU'S POINT: A PRE-DORSET "CENTRAL PLACE" ON WEBB BAY 



291 



Table 85. Attu's Point L-5: Total Lithic Raw Material Weights (Tools and Flakes). In Grams. 





TOOLS g (%) 


FLAKES g (%) 


TOTAL g (%) 


Dark gray Mugford 


69.8 


(26.8) 


1 9.9 


(7.8) 


89.7 (1 7.4) 


Light gray Mugford 


8.0 


(3.1) 


8.5 


(3.3) 


16.5 (3.2) 


Cray-speckled chert 


2.3 


(0.9) 


5.5 


(2.2) 


7.8 (1.5) 


Black chert 


5.5 


(2.1) 


1.5 


(0.6) 


7.0 (1.4) 


Ramah chert 


1 3.1 


(5.0) 


1 7.7 


(7.0) 


30.8 (6.0) 


Patlnated chert 


0.9 


(0.3) 


8.5 


(3.3) 


9.4 (1.8) 


Blostrome chert 






0.4 


(0.2) 


0.4 (0.1) 


Crystal quartz 


7.2 


(2.8) 


1.1 


(0.4) 


8.3 (1.6) 


Slate 


1 10.0 


(42.2) 


1 1 2.5 (44.2) 


222.5 (43.2) 


Clastic slate 






72.5 (28.5) 


72.5 (14.1) 


Light gray silicified slate 


43.9 


(16.8) 


6.2 


(2.4) 


50.1 (9.7) 



No refits of broken tools were identified and 
attempts to refit burin spalls with the three burins 
were unsuccessful. The majority of burins and burin 
spalls lie clustered together on the north side of the 
excavation (Figure 205). Two of the three burins are 
made of dark gray Mugford chert, as are 1 3 of the 1 6 
spalls, while one burin is made of patinated chert, as 
is one spall. A single spall of gray-speckled chert lacks 
a burin of the same material. 

Flake Distribution 

The total flake distribution is shown in Figure 203. The 
vast majority of flakes (81%) are concentrated on the 
northern side of the excavation. This concentration 
actually consists of two smaller elongated clusters, one 
associated with a small charcoal concentration, the 
other running parallel ca. 50 cm to the east. The axial 
feature has relatively few flakes, but these seem to be 
concentrated in two clusters; one on the southeast 
edge of the hearth, the other at the northwest corner 
of the axial alignment in the vicinity of three flat slabs. 
In sum, the overall debitage distribution tends to par- 
allel the /(-means clusters of tools. The individual flake 
raw material distributions are shown as point plots and 
quadrat counts in Figures 208 and 209, respectively. 



Ceneric Mugford chert, patinated chert and Ramah 
chert tend to be found on the east side of the northern 
concentration, while generic slate is found on both 
sides. Black chert occurs mostly in two small concen- 
trations, one at the northwest corner of the excavation, 
the other at the northwest corner of the axial feature. 
There are few crystal quartz flakes, but two are locat- 
ed close to the hearth associated with the presumed 
axial feature (cf., the hearth-related crystal quartz dis- 
tribution at L-1). Ramah chert occurs in two clusters, 
one on the east side of the northern concentration, the 
other adjacent to the axial feature hearth. 

Given the strong spatial clustering, a quantitative 
analysis of the debitage was conducted using four 
quadrants, distinguished along an east-west axis by 
the 5y line and along the north-south axis by the 4x 
line (Table 84). These quadrants separate the two 
clusters of the northern concentration and distinguish 
the latter from the axial feature, and they are general- 
ly consistent with the results of the /c-means analysis 
of the tool assemblage. There are several clear ten- 
dencies. Most of the Ramah chert is found on the east 
side of the excavation, particularly in the northeast 
quadrant. Slate is mostly distributed on the north side, 
also primarily in the northeast quadrant. Gray-speck- 



292 



CHAPTER 1 3 



























































2 


1 
























7 


14 






1 


■1 

1 








1 










B= 1 










1 


2 


3 


1 
























C= 1 










6 














Black chert 




Crystal quartz (C) 
Blostrome chert (B) 


Dark gray Mugford chert 










































1 


4 






2 






5 


5 






1 






5 


7 
















1 
























1 








1 






1 




















1 
















Light gray Mugford chert 






Gray speckled Mugford chert Patinated chert 










1 






























1 


29 




1 


5 






14 


64 


1 




7 






6 


11 


2 




1 








5 


1 








10 


2 




2 


4 




5 


26 


1 












1 








5 














9 


3 




7 










Ramah chert 




Slate 




Clastic slate 




























1 








2 


5 


1 


3 




















Silicified slate 





209/ Attu's Point L-5: flake raw material distributions by quadrat. 



led Mugford chert and patinated chert are exclusively 
and primarily (respectively) associated with the north- 
east quadrant. Another noticeable pattern is the ten- 
dency for "plain" slates to cluster in the northeast 
quadrant, while "clastic" slate is mostly found in the 



northwest quadrant. The latter pattern suggests in 
situ distributions resulting from two separate knap- 
ping episodes using slightly different raw materials 
rather than dumping behavior resulting from floor 



ATTU'S POINT: A PRE-DORSET "CENTRAL PLACE" ON WEBB BAY 



293 




a b c d e 




2 1 0/ Attu's Point L-5 tools, a-d endblades. e: stemmed 
point, f: endblade preform, g-i burms, j, k endscrapers. I: 
burm/endscraper. 

cleaning, which would probably mix the two slate 
types more thoroughly. 

Integration 

Comparison of the tool and flake raw material 
plots (Figures 207 and 208) indicates the distribution 
of Mugford chert flakes and tools largely coincides, 
except for a small concentration of tools in the 
extreme northwest corner of the excavation. Ramah 
chert tools and debitage tend to be spatially associat- 
ed and are fairly tightly clustered around the hearth 
area and the northeast portion of the external 
dump/activity area. Both black chert and crystal quartz 
have a somewhat different distribution pattern than 
the other materials, tending to be found towards the 
more westerly portion of the excavation on the periph- 
ery of the other materials' main distributions. 

If we compare the frequencies of raw materials 
present in the tool assemblage to those among the 



flakes (Tables 82 and 84) there are some marked dif- 
ferences. The high percentage of dark gray Mugford 
chert tools contrasts with a relatively low percentage of 
flakes, suggesting that some of the tools entered the 
locus in finished form. The frequency of crystal quartz 
debitage also seems low relative to the quantity of 
tools, suggesting the same pattern. The frequency of 
slate debitage is high compared to the few tools, which 
might indicate that some of the finished products or 
preforms were removed from the locus. This is under- 
scored by the presence of clastic slate debitage, but 
the absence of tools of this material. 

Table 85 tabulates tool and flake raw materials by 
weight for L-5 as a whole. All materials occur in low 
weights, but slates dominate, followed by dark gray 
Mugford chert. The most striking variations are that 
dark gray Mugford chert and light gray silicified slate 
are more significant as tools than as flakes; the former 
is consistent with the frequency data. 

The initial assessment of L-5 suggested the local- 
ity consisted of an axial feature with a hearth at one 
end and an activity area to the north, or that perhaps 
the latter was a disturbed structure. Support for the 
disturbed structure alternative might be seen in the 
clustering of the flake distributions, one concentration 
related to a charcoal deposit and rocks, the other con- 
centration lying 50 cm to the east (Figure 203), hinting 
at the bilaterality sometimes associated with axial fea- 
tures. On the other hand, a similar pattern could also 
be associated with an isolated hearth without an 
accompanying mid-passage structure. But there may 
be a third alternative. We might deconstruct the axial 
structure interpretation by pointing out that the fea- 
ture consists of a hearth on the south side connected 
by a single line of rocks to a cluster of rocks and flat 
slabs on the north side. These two components could 
be separate features, with the small charcoal patch at 
the northern cluster of flat slabs representing a second 
disturbed hearth. Seen in conjunction with the north- 
ern activity area, we might then have a linear series of 
three hearths spaced at 1.5 m intervals. Such a linear 



294 



CHAPTER 1 3 



feature, possibly consisting of four hearths, was exca- 
vated at Port IVlanvers Run-1 (Chapter 12). 

L-5 Tool Assemblage 

Endblades: Of the four endblades from L-5 (Figure 
210:a-d), one is nearly complete and the others are 
proximal, medial and distal fragments. One is made of 
dark gray Mugford chert, one of light gray Mugford 
chert, one of light gray silicified slate and one of black 
chert. The nearly complete example (Figure 210:a) is 
triangular with a biconvex cross-section and a straight 
base that is thinned on both sides by two parallel 
flakes placed medially. It is finely flaked with distinctly 
serrated lateral edges and there is a small area of 
medial grinding on one face (L= >17.7 mm, W= 10.2, 
TH= 1.4). The proximal example (Figure 210:b) has a 
slightly concave base (depth= 0.6 mm) with two paral- 
lel basal-thinning flakes on one side and one central 
basal-thinning flake on the other side. A striking plat- 
form remains on one lateral edge. The implement may 
be unfinished (W= 14.6 mm, TH= 2.7). The other two 
examples are small fragments deemed to be end- 
blades by virtue of their size and flaking patterns. 

Pomts/endblades: Two distal fragments are diffi- 
cult to classify as points or endblades. One is made of 
Ramah chert (Figure 210:d) and has distinct edge ser- 
ration and a plano-convex cross-section resulting from 
near-complete dorsal flaking combined with ventral 
retouch limited to the edge margins. The other is made 
of dark gray Mugford chert and has fine edge serra- 
tion, slight medial grinding, a biconvex cross-section 
and a slight hint of a shoulder (Figure 210:c). 
Combined with its slightly greater thickness, these 
attributes suggest this specimen may represent a point 
rather than an endblade. 

Endblade preforms: The single example is a dis- 
tal fragment made of gray-speckled Mugford chert 
(Figure 210 0. It bears minimal lateral retouch limited 
to within 2.5 mm of the edge. 

Points: The single definite specimen (Figure 
210;e) is the proximal/lateral portion of a crystal 




21 1/ Attu's Point L-5 tools, a, b: microblade cores; c-j: 
microblades: /c adze, I: celt/adze preform. 



quartz point with a contracting stem and a biconvex 
cross-section (TH= 5.7 mm, stem L= 1 1 .4). 

Bifaces: Three small biface fragments were 
found, all lateral edge fragments, two are made of 
crystal quartz, one of Ramah chert. The latter has a 
very slight hint of a shoulder, suggesting it was a 
lanceolate biface. 

Burins: Two of the three burins are fashioned 
from flakes, one is made on a microblade. Both of the 
flake burins are made of gray Mugford chert while the 
microblade burin is made of patinated chert. None of 
the implements are ground. One of the flake burins is 
relatively large (Figure 210:g) with fine retouch on 
both lateral edges, dorsal on the left, ventral on the 



ATTU'S POINT: A PRE-DORSET "CENTRAL PLACE" ON WEBB BAY 



295 



right (L = 37.6 mm, W = 24.1, TH = 4.8). There is a 
faint shoulder on each side and a slight notch-like 
indentation on the right side, where the retouch is bifa- 
cial. The proximal end is thinned bifacially but two 
long parallel flakes were used to remove the bulb of 
percussion on the ventral side (similar to the technique 
used on some endblades). The right distal corner is 
bifacially retouched, providing a platform for the 
oblique removal of four burin spalls. The other flake 
burin (Figure 210:h) exhibits minimal unifacial retouch 
on its lateral edges (L= 25.4 mm, W=14.9, TH=6.7). A 
single spall removal runs obliquely from a slightly 
retouched area on the distal end to a terminus marked 
by a steeply retouched notch (65 ) on the opposite lat- 
eral edge. The notch might be either a remnant con- 
cave scraper edge or a termination control feature. The 
retouched edge is wear-polished. 

The third burin (Figure 21 0;i) is a very small imple- 
ment made on the proximal fragment of a microblade 
(L= 1 2.6 mm, W= 1 1 .8, TH= 2.8). The left distal corner 
has a small notch that may have been made for a con- 
trolled snap of the microblade, but the notch also 
served as a platform for the oblique removal of four 
tiny burin spalls. No other retouch is present. 

Combination scraper/bunns The single imple- 
ment (Figure 210:1) is made on a lozenge-shaped flake 
of crystal quartz (L= 35.6, W= 22.4, TH= 6.5). The 
medial-distal portion of one lateral edge has abrupt 
scraper-like retouch on the dorsal side while on the 
other lateral edge the medial-proximal portion is 
retouched similarly on the dorsal side. Burinations are 
present at both ends of the implement; one end has 
two spall removals— the first an angle burination, the 
second oblique across the tip of the implement— while 
the other end has a single angle burination. 

Burin spalls: Of the 17 burin spalls (MNI = 13), 
eight are complete, five are proximal fragments, three 
are distal fragments and one is a medial portion. Eight 
are made from dark gray Mugford chert, five from gray 
Mugford chert, one from light gray Mugford chert, two 
from light gray silicified slate and one from Ramah 



chert (the latter is an uncertain spall). Two spalls are 
primary, the rest are secondary. None are ground. 
Metrics are as follows; x L = 16.0 mm, r = 9.6-20.5, 
X W = 3.8, r = 2.4-5.2, x TH = 1 .9, r = 1 . 1 -3.2. 

Scrapers: Three scrapers were recovered. One is 
the distal fragment of an endscraper (Figure 210:k) 
made on a blade of light gray silicified slate, with a rel- 
atively narrow convex "nose" (W = 1 4.9 mm, TH = 3.8, 
edge angle = 40°). Another is an end/sldescraper 
(Figure 2 1 0;j) made on an irregular linear flake of dark 
gray Mugford chert. The partially retouched distal end 
is convex and half of one lateral margin is also 
retouched (L = 33.7 mm, W = 13.5, TH = 9.1, edge 
angle = 65 ). The third specimen is a possible medial 
fragment of black chert that has shallow dorsal 
retouch on opposite edges. 

Microblades: Of the 20 microblades (MNI=12), 
fourteen are made of Mugford chert, four of crystal 
quartz and two of Ramah chert (Figure 211: c-j). Only 
one is complete; 1 1 are proximal fragments, six are 
medial fragments and two are distal fragments. 
Metrics are as follows: xW = 8.08 mm, r = 5.1-14.6, 
X TH = 2.1, r = 1.1-4.4. Platform angles: 85' = 1, 
80' = 7, 75 = 1, 70 = 3. Platform preparation: plain 
= 1, ground = 1, plain/ground = 1, retouch = 2, 
retouch/ground = 3. Four specimens have traces of 
deliberate retouch while eight exhibit minor notching 
and use-wear. 

Microblade cores: The first of the two cores 
(Figure 21 1 :b) is made on a sub-rectangular to trian- 
gular block of dark gray Mugford chert (L =56.4 mm, 
W =33.4, TH = 20.59). A triangular platform is posi- 
tioned at one of the long ends of the chert block. The 
platform surface is fully retouched by shallow flakes 
and has a platform angle of 80°. Flake scars from six 
blade removals run the length of the front and sides 
of the core. The blades ranged in size from 37-55 
mm long and 5.5-10 mm in width. The back of the 
block is not retouched. The second example (Figure 
21 1 :a) is a tabular-shaped core of light gray silicified 
slate (L = 51.6 mm, W = 32.7, TH = 14.3). The plat- 



296 



CHAPTER 1 3 



form is located on one of the 
long ends of the core. The 
edges of the core are 
retouched slightly, including 
some thinning on the long end 
opposite the platform. The 
platform is long, narrow and 
flat, without preparation; a well 
defined point of impact inden- 
tation is found on the platform 
edge. The platform angle is 
80". One microblade ca. 29.5 
mm long and 10.1 mm wide 
was removed from the narrow 
longtitudinal edge of the core. 

Celts/adzes: Both speci- 
mens are made of green slate. A 
definite adze (Figure 211:k) is 
made on a slate tablet and is 
broken longtitudinally (L = >56.7 
mm, W = >27.2, TH = 1 2.7). The 
implement has a rectangular 
cross-section with lateral edges 
flaked perpendicular to the tool 
faces. On the dorsal side of the 
tool polish is mostly limited to 
within 4.5 mm of the tool edge, 
although it extends up to 1 6 mm 
back. The ventral side is almost 
completely polished while the 
lateral edges are unpolished. 
There is little indication of use 
wear on the bit apart from three 
small fractures on the ventral 
side and a slight rounding of the 
edge. The second implement is a 
complete unground preform for 
a celt or adze (Figure 21 1 :l). Its 
overall form is "pick-like," with a 
square cross-section resulting 




21 2/ Attu's Point L-7: axial structure, view towards the northeast. 




21 3/ Attu's Point L-7: box-hearth with thermoliths. View towards the southeast. 




2 1 4/ Attu's Point L-7 box-hearth, thermoliths removed. View towards the northeast. 



ATTU'S POINT; A PRE-DORSET "CENTRAL PLACE" ON WEBB BAY 



297 



Table 86. Attu's Point L-7: Tool Classes by K-Means Cluster. 





Cluster 1 


Cluster 2 


Other 


TOTAL N (%) 


Endblades 


4.5* 


1.5 




6 (25.0) 


Endblade preforms 


1 






1 (4.2) 


Biface fragments 


2 






2 (8.3) 


Burins 


2 






2 (8.3) 


Burin spalls 


6 






6 (25.0) 


Microblades 


3 


1 




4 (1 6.7) 


Utilized flakes 


2 




1 


3 (12.5) 


TOTAL 


20.5 


2.5 


1 


24 


half numbers denote 


refits across units 









m 



3x7y 



3x4y 



Gray Mugford chert concentration 
F Flat rock 



21 5/ Attu's Point L-7: axial structure and total flake distribution. 

from perpendicular retouch on all sides (L = 1 1 5.4 mm, 
W = 24.9, TH = 24.3). 

Utilized flakes: The 24 utilized flakes are made of 
a variety of materials: seven of dark gray Mugford 
chert, five of light gray Mugford chert, one of light gray 



7x7y 




silicified slate, one of crystal 
quartz, six of Ramah chert and 
one of slate. The relatively high 
frequency of Ramah chert spec- 
imens is noteworthy. 



L-7 EXCAVATION 

L-7 was located in the middle of 
the site, just below the edge of 
the second beach ridge at 1 1 m 
asl (Figure 193). The locality 
consisted of a small but perfect- 
ly preserved axial feature, 
around which a total of 1 2 m^ 
was excavated (Figures 212 to 
215). A debitage concentration 
at the foot of the feature extend- 
ed slightly outside the limits of 
the excavation, so it is possible 
that an external midden area 
remains uninvestigated. 

The axial feature was just 
under 3 m long, 1 m wide and was oriented northwest- 
southeast, perpendicular to the shoreline (Figures 212 
and 21 5). A beautifully preserved box-hearth lay at the 
center of the feature (Figures 2 1 3 and 2 1 4). It was com- 
prised of four thick inclined rock slabs that created a 



7x4y 



298 



CHAPTER 1 3 



Table 87. Attu's Point L-7: Tool Classes by Structural Position. 





East 


Axial 


West 


Ax/E 


Ax/W 


TOTAL 


N (%) 


Endblades 


1.5 


3.5 


1 






6 


(25.0) 


Endblade preforms 




1 








1 


(4.2) 


Biface fragments 




2 








2 


(8.3) 


Burins 






1 




1 


2 


(8.3) 


Burin spalls 




1 






5 


6 


(25.0) 


IVlicroblades 


1 


1 


2 






4 


(16.7) 


Utilized flakes 




2 




1 




3 


(12.5) 


TOTAL 


2.5 


10.5 


4 


1 


6 


24 





compartment of 60 by 40 cm. The compartment was 
filled with tightly packed fist-sized thermoliths (some 
fire-cracked) that overlay three small horizontal flat 
stone slabs at the base of the feature. The gravel at the 
bottom of the hearth contained a few flecks of solid 
charcoal as well as a faint stain of powdered charcoal. 



Two small clusters of probable thermoliths were found 
outside the hearth, one immediately to the east of the 
hearth within the axial feature, another outside the fea- 
ture 1 m north of the center of the hearth. There was 
also a 1 .7 m long scatter of small rocks 1 .3 m west of 
the axial feature that likely represents thermoliths 




21 6/ Attu's Point L-7 tool distribution and k-means clusters. 
ArrU'S POINT: A PRE-DORSET "CENTRAL PLACE" ON WEBB BAY 



299 



Table 88. Attu's Point L-7: Tool Raw Material Frequencies by Structural Position. 





East 


Axial 


West 


Ax/E 


Ax/W 


TOTAL N (%) 


Dark gray Mugford chert 


2.5 


3.5 


2 




6 


14 (58.3) 


Light gray Mugford chert 




3 








3 (12.5) 


Cray-speckled chert 






1 






1 (4.2) 


Crystal quartz 




1 


1 


1 




3 (12.5) 


Ramah chert 




3 








3 (12.5) 


TOTAL 


2.5 


10.5 


4 


1 


6 


24 



cached or discarded against the wall of a tent. There 
was no trace of tent anchor rocks. 

A tiny charcoal sample collected from beneath the 
flat rocks at the bottom of the hearth was submitted to 
Isotrace Laboratory, University of Toronto, for AMS 
dating. The result was very surprising: 50±50 B.P. (TO- 
4793). Of all the charcoal samples from Attu's Point, 
this one seemed to have the strongest contextual asso- 



ciation, virtually sealed underneath an undisturbed 
hearth feature. The anomalous result might be attrib- 
utable to recent burning of roots that had penetrated 
beneath the hearth or post-excavation contamination. 

Tool Distribution 

The L-7 tool distribution is plotted in relation to a 
/(-means cluster analysis in Figure 216. Cluster 1 is 



3x7y 



7x7y 




3x4y 7x4y 
Circle indicates location of 6 dark gray Mugford chert items 
lacking point provenience 



♦ Crystal quartz 

A Dark gray Mugford chert 

+ Gray speckled Mugford chert 

• Light gray Mugford chert 

* Ramah chert 



21 7/ Attu's Point L'7: tool raw material distribution. 



300 



CHAPTER 1 3 



3x7y 




3x4y 



S Concentration 

Gray Mugford chert flakes 



7x7y 3x7y 



7x4y 




3x4y 



Black chert flakes 



3x7y 




3x4y 



7x7y 3x7y 



7x4y 3x4y 




Crystal quartz flakes 



Ramah chert flakes 



3x7y 



3x4y 



7x7y 




7x4y 



Slate flakes 



2 1 8/ Attu's Point L-7: flake raw material distributions. 



ATTU'S POINT; A PRE-DORSET "CENTRAL PLACE" ON WEBB BAY 



Table 89. Attu's Point L-7: Flake Raw Material Frequencies by Structural Position. 





East 


N (%) 


West N (%) 


TOTAL N (%) 


Dark gray Mugford chert 


18 


(12.8) 


1 57 


(54.5) 


1 75 


(40.8) 


Gray-speckled chert 


1 9 


(13.5) 


54 


(18.8) 


73 


(17.0) 


Patinated chert 






14 


(4.9) 


14 


(3.3) 


Black chert 


3 


(2.1) 


1 


(0.3) 


4 


(0.9) 


Ramah chert 


4 


(2.8) 


19 


(6.6) 


23 


(5.4) 


Crystal quartz 


6 


(4.3) 


1 


(0.3) 


7 


(1.6) 


Slate 


91 


(64.5) 


42 


(14.6) 


1 33 


(31.0) 


TOTAL 


141 




288 




429 





positioned on the northwestern arm of the structure 
while Cluster 2 flanks the feature. Six of the seven 
quadrat provenienced items (five burin spalls and a 
burin) can be associated with Cluster 1, while one 
item (utilized flake) lay somewhere between the two 
clusters. A refitted endblade connects the two clus- 
ters. All the implements are found on the northern 
(seaward) side of the excavation and Table 86 indi- 
cates almost all the tools belonged to Cluster 1 at 
the northwest corner of the axial feature. Although 
the distinct structure could facilitate a model-based 
bilateral analysis, the paucity of tools limits the value 
of such an approach. Nonetheless, Table 87 outlines 
the distribution of the tool classes partitioned by 
spatial position relative to the feature. Little can be 



concluded except that the majority of tools were 
associated with the feature and that biface frag- 
ments and burin spalls tend to be associated with 
the feature. 

Spatial distributions of the tool raw materials are 
shown in Figure 217 and summarized in Table 88. 
Given the low frequencies little can be said except that 
light gray Mugford chert and Ramah chert tend to be 
more closely associated with the axial feature than are 
the other raw materials. 

The total flake distribution (Figure 215) indicates 
deposition restricted to the north side of the structure, 
the same pattern as the tool distribution. Looking at 
the distribution of individual flake raw materials 
(Figure 218), a major concentration of Mugford chert 



Table 90. Attu's Point L-7: Total Lithic Raw Material Weights (Tools and Flakes). In Grams. 





Tools g 


Flakes g 


TOTAL g (%) 


Dark gray Mugford chert 


5.9 


52.1 


58.0 (25.0) 


Gray-speckled chert 


0.4 


10.7 


11.1 (4.8) 


Patinated chert 




7 


7.0 (3.0) 


Black chert 




2.6 


2.6 (1.1) 


Ramah chert 


4.3 


2.6 


6.9 (3.0) 


Crystal quartz 


3.4 


3.3 


6.7 (2.9) 


Slate 


139.3 




139.3 (60.1) 



302 



CHAPTER 1 3 













3 


1 


1 


1 


15 


147 


10 


Dark Gray Mugford chert flakes 




B= 1 






B= 1 




p= 1 




B= 1 




p= 11 

B= 1 


p= 1 



Patinated Mugford chert (P) 
Black chert (B) 













16 








4 


52 


2 


Gray speckled Mugford chert 












R= 1 
C= 1 






R= 1 
C=2 


R= 1 
C= 3 


R= 19 
C=2 


C= 1 



Ramah chert flakes (R) 
Crystal quartz flakes (C) 



1 


1 






60 


4 




1 


8 


16 


31 


9 



Slate flakes 



219/ Attu's Point L-7: flake raw material distributions by quadrat. 



flakes (generic) is found at the northern terminus of 
the axial feature. This concentration is strongly sug- 
gestive of a restricted l<napping or dumping locale. In 
contrast, although some of the slate flakes also occur 
at the northern end of the feature, they are clearly con- 
centrated in a small area east of the hearth. For quan- 
titative analysis the debitage was divided into two sub- 
units— east and west of the axial feature - based on 



the 5x grid line that ran through the center of the fea- 
ture (see Figure 219). This is a somewhat inconvenient 
and arbitrary division, but in combination with the 
point-plotted debitage, the results are acceptable. As 
outlined in Table 89, Mugford cherts clearly dominate 
on the west side of the axial feature (mostly in the con- 
centration at the end of the feature), patinated chert 
occurs exclusively on the west side and Ramah chert is 



ATTU'S POINT: A PRE-DORSET "CENTRAL PLACE" ON WEBB BAY 



303 



mostly on the west. Slate and crystal quartz are asso- 
ciated mainly with the east side. A chi-square test indi- 
cates there is a statistically significant difference in the 
distribution of raw materials between the two sides of 
the feature (x^ = l 39.65). 

Integration 

Comparison of the tool and flake raw material distribu- 
tions (Figures 217 and 218) indicates Mugford chert 
tools have a distribution broadly similar to the flakes, 
although most of the tools (with the exception of the 
non-provenienced burin spalls) were deposited slightly 
outside the dense concentration of flakes at the end of 
the axial feature. Despite the high frequency of slate 
flakes, no slate tools were recovered. Unless some 
slate implements are present in the unexcavated area 
at the foot of the axial feature, they were either dis- 
posed of elsewhere on the site or curated to other 
localities. The low frequency of the other raw materials 
makes their distributions hard to evaluate. Neither the 
crystal quartz nor the Ramah chert flakes and tools are 
precisely associated with each other and there are no 
black chert tools to plot against the three flakes. The 
total raw material weights (Table 90) are extremely 
low. Slate and dark gray Mugford chert are the most 
abundant materials by weight, although for slate this is 
exclusively flake material and for dark gray Mugford 
chert it is primarily flakes. Overall, the paucity of lithic 
material suggests a relatively short occupation. 

The spatial organization of lithic-related activi- 
ties at L-7 is strongly oriented towards the seaward 
side of the axial feature, leaving the "back" area 
almost totally free of lithic material. Within this gen- 
eral tendency is a marked differentiation between a 
Mugford chert deposit at the "front" of the feature 
and a slate concentration in the lateral area east of 
the hearth, suggesting spatial separation of reduc- 
tion activities linked to the two materials. On the 
other hand, refits between endblade fragments pro- 
vide a behavioral link between the front of the feature 
and the lateral area to the east (Figure 216). 



L-7 Tool Assemblage 

Endblades Of the six endblades, five are complete 
and one is a proximal fragment (Figure 220:a-e); four 
of the five complete specimens are refits of broken 
portions. Two are made of gray Mugford chert, two of 
light gray Mugford chert, one of gray-speckled 
Mugford chert and one of Ramah chert. All are trian- 
gular, but two size classes are represented. Five of 
the six are "medium-sized," with lengths ranging 
between 21 .2-28.3 mm and widths between 1 1 .9-1 5.4 
mm. Figure 220:b has a straight base and a sinusoid 
cross-section; it was broken medially (L = 26.2 mm, W 
= 14.1, TH = 2.2). Figure 220:c has a straight base, a 
biconvex cross-section, slight edge serration and 
faint polishing on one basal corner (L = 26.7 mm, W = 
1 2.7, TH = 1 .9). It was broken at about 1 /4 of the dis- 
tance up from its base. Figure 220:d has a straight 
base and a biconvex cross-section; one lateral edge is 
not completely retouched (L = 28.3 mm, W = 1 5.4, TH 
= 2.9). It was broken at about 2/3 of the distance up 
from its base. Figure 220:e has a straight base, a sinu- 
soid cross-section and slightly serrated edges (L = 
21 .2, W = 1 1 .9, TH = 1 .8); it was broken medially. The 




220/ Attu's Point L-7 tools, a-e: endblades; f: endblade 
preform; g: biface tip; h-i: burins; J: microblade. 



304 



CHAPTER 1 3 



proximal fragment (not illustrated) has a thinned base 
(W = >14.1 mm, TH = 2.3). 

The sixth specimen is a very small complete 
endblade made of Ramah chert (Figure 220:a). It has 
a biconvex cross-section, a slightly concave base 
(depth= 0.5 mm) and faint edge serration (L= 16.3 
mm, W= 8.5, TH=1.7). There is also slight medial 
grinding on both faces. 

Endblade preforms: The single endblade pre- 
form (Figure 220: f) is a proximal fragment made of 
gray Mugford chert. It has a straight base and rough 
bifacial flaking (W= 16.8 mm, TH= 2.9). 

Points/endblades: The two fragments are so 
small it is impossible to determine which tool class 
is represented. One of them is a distal element made 
of crystal quartz (Figure 220:g) with a biconvex 
cross-section and slight edge serration. The other is 
a medial fragment made of light gray Mugford chert 
with a biconvex cross-section. 

Burins: The two burins are both made of gray 
Mugford chert. One is a small specimen that initially 
was classed as an endblade fragment (Figure 220: h). 
The implement is made on a very thin flake with a 
remnant basal striking platform. It is completely 
bifacially flaked and a burination platform was pre- 
pared using a small bifacial distal notch. Two spalls 
were removed obliquely from the notch; the first 
sheared off most of one lateral edge of the flake 
while the second is very short and runs parallel to 
the first. Much of the medial portion of one face is 
ground while the other face has slight grinding dis- 
tally (L = 20.6 mm, W = 9.3, TH = 1.6). The second 
example is a distal fragment, also made on a small 
thin flake (Figure 220:i). Fine retouch towards the 
distal end of one lateral edge was used as a platform 
to remove a transverse spall. This spall surface was 
then employed as a platform to remove two small 
spalls from the other lateral edge of the flake. Near 
the distal end on both faces there are numerous stri- 
ations that run 70-80 to the burin spalls; this 
appears to be incipient grinding. 



5x7y 



5x5y - 



5x3y 




I I Hearth border rock 

F Flat rock 

■ Core fragment 

+ Microblade 

• Utilized flake 
A Black chert flake 

* Slate flake 



□ 



6x3y 



221/ Attu's Point L-9: axial structure. 

Burin Spalls: Of the six burin spalls, three are 
complete, two are proximal fragments and one is a 
medial fragment. All are made of gray Mugford chert. 
One IS a primary spall, the rest secondary. The pri- 
mary spall is long (24.7 mm) while the two complete 
secondary spalls are half its length (1 1 .7, 1 3.6 mm). 
Additional metrics: xW = 3.5 mm, r = 2.0-4.4, xTH = 
2.1 , r = 1 .2-3.3. 

Microblades: All four of the microblades (MNI = 
2) are medial fragments. Three are made of gray 
Mugford chert, one of crystal quartz (Figure 220: j, 
illustrates a Mugford chert example). Reliable widths 
vary between 6.5-8.6 mm. One has retouch on both 
lateral edges while two others exhibit slight use-wear 
on their margins. 

Utilized Flakes: Two of the three utilized flakes 
are made of Ramah chert, one of crystal quartz. 



ATTU'S POINT: A PRE-DORSET "CENTRAL PLACE" ON WEBB BAY 



305 




222/ Attu's Point L-9 tools, a. core fragment; b: macrob- 
lade. c. utilized flake, d macroblade. 



L-9 TEST EXCAVATION 

L-9 was located on the uppermost beach ridge at 1 2 m 
asl. (Figure 193). At first glance it appeared to consist 
of a well-preserved axial structure, so a 1 m by 4 m 
excavation unit was placed along the length of the fea- 
ture (Figure 221 ). After exposure, a hearth was clearly 
identifiable but other structural elements were less dis- 
tinct. The axial feature was 3.5 m long, 0.80-1.0 m 
wide and was oriented east-west, perpendicular to the 
beach front. The slightly disturbed hearth was com- 
posed of three thick border rocks and a fourth large 
flat rock that surrounded a pair of small horizontal flat 
slabs, creating a compartment of 60 by 40 cm. Some 
of the fist-sized stones within the hearth area were 
likely thermoliths and small fire-cracked rocks were 
noted on the eastern edge of the hearth. Small flecks 
of charcoal were found in the gravel on the outer 
perimeter of the hearth and beneath some of the 
hearth and central axial feature rocks. Just outside the 
excavation at the western end of the feature was a 
small rock cluster that might be part of the L-9 feature, 
but it could also represent a separate structure. A 




223/ Attu's Point surface collected tools, a, b: bifaces (L-4); 
c large Ramah chert flake (L-4), d: adze (L-3), e-f: burin, 
endblade preform (L-15). 



small charcoal sample procured from the gravel imme- 
diately adjacent to the hearth rocks was submitted to 
the Isotrace Laboratory, University of Toronto, for AMS 
dating. The result was an unacceptably recent date of 
690 ± 60 B.P. (TO-4794). The sample was not from a 
sealed context and could conceivably be related to a 
post-occupation vegetation burn. 

Very little lithic material was found in the L-9 exca- 
vation: two "macroblades," one core fragment, a biface 
fragment and two utilized flakes. Both macroblades 
(Figure 222:b, d) are made of gray Mugford chert; one 
is complete (L = 56.8 mm, W = 18.9, TH = 8.9), the 
other a proximal fragment. Both have a platform angle 
of 80'; one has a unprepared plain platform the other 
platform is retouched. Both have slight use-wear on 
their edges. The core fragment (Figure 222:a) is made 



306 



CHAPTER 1 3 




a 




224/ Attu's Point surface collected tools, a-b Maritime 
Archaic biface, Maritime Archaic stemmed point (L-l 2): 
c: lanceolate biface (L-6): d: lanceolate biface (east of L5). 

of gray Mugford chert. The biface fragment is a tiny, 
finely flaked lateral edge element of black chert. One 
of the utilized flakes is made of gray Mugford chert, 
the other of crystal quartz (Figure 222:c). Eight flakes 
were collected, five of which are made of black chert, 
two of slate and one of dark gray Mugford chert. 

OTHER LOCI 

Throughout the course of the work at Attu's Point the 
site surface was scanned for traces of additional struc- 
tures and artifact concentrations. Surface collections 
were made at some of these localities. Each is 
described briefly below (see Figure 193 for locations). 

L-2: Located on the first beach terrace at 1 m 
asl., there was a possible axial structure, 3.5 m long, 
oriented northwest-southeast. Visible on the surface 
was a microblade and flakes of Mugford chert, Ramah 
chert and slate. 

L-3: Situated on the first beach terrace at 1 m 
asl., a few rocks and flat slabs were observed, but no 
clear structure. A flake scatter measuring 4.5 m north- 



south and 2.5 m east-west contained Mugford chert 
and abundant slate. A complete adze of green slate 
(Figure 223: d) was surface collected. The implement is 
sub-rectangular in form, with abrupt perpendicular 
flaking on one lateral edge and more irregular retouch 
on the other lateral edge (L = 78.6 mm, W = 33.2, TH 
= 2 1 .6). The dorsal side of the adze bit was formed by 
flaking out a concavity, then polishing no more than 
4.5 mm back from the edge (edge angle = 75 ). On the 
ventral side the bit is mostly polished within 6.0 mm of 
the edge, although it extends back to 21.5 mm. Edge 
wear consists of a few small fractures and a slight 
rounding of the edge. 

L-4: This locality was situated on the edge of the 
lowest beach terrace, just under 1 m asl., so it could 
be the youngest locus at the site. Various rocks were 
present, but no clear structure. A lithic scatter measur- 
ing 4.5 m north-south and 2.5 m east-west contained 
Mugford chert, slate and large Ramah chert flakes. A 
Ramah chert biface fragment, a biface preform of black 
chert and a large Ramah chert flake were surface col- 
lected. The Ramah chert biface (Figure 223:b) is bro- 
ken in the middle and is missing part of its mid-sec- 
tion. It is unfinished, with a slightly convex base bear- 
ing traces of grinding and there are three slight notch- 
es near the proximal end of one lateral edge (L = ca. 
76.5 mm, W = 32.1 , TH = 1 3.7). The black chert biface 
preform (Figure 223:a) is leaf-shaped: one face of the 
distal end is fairly well flaked but the rest of the imple- 
ment is only retouched marginally (L = 49.8 mm, W = 
26.0, TH = 7.7). The large Ramah chert flake (Figure 
223:c) is the largest piece of that material observed at 
the site (L = 82.9 mm, W = 32.1 , TH = 1 3.7). 

East of L-5: About 4.75 m east of the L-5 exca- 
vation the mid-section of a lanceolate biface made of 
Ramah chert (Figure 224:d) was surface collected. It 
is completely retouched bifacially, with a biconvex 
cross-section. Weak shoulders occur just below the 
mid-section on both lateral edges, but there is more 
distinct stemming near the base (L = > 49 mm, W = 
23.9, TH = 8.1). 



ATTU'S POINT; A PRE-DORSET "CENTRAL PLACE" ON WEBB BAY 



307 




225/ Attu's Point surface collected tools, a stemmed point 
(L-14): b-c: biface tip, bunn (L~l 5), d bunn (L-16), 
e-f: biface base, sidescraper (L-14). 

L-6 Positioned on the upper portion of the first 
beach level at 10.5-1 1 m asl., this locality consisted of 
an indistinct rock structure, flakes of slate, crystal 
quartz and black chert, as well as a lanceolate biface 
fragment and a core tablet. The biface fragment 
(Figure 224:c) is a proximal specimen made of gray 
Mugford chert, with a biconvex cross-section and a 
slight contraction towards the base (W= 21 .4 mm, TH= 
5.6). The core tablet is made of black chert; three lin- 
ear flakes removed from one end of a flat-flaked plat- 
form suggest it was a test piece for a microblade core 
(L = 76.4 mm, W = 62.3, TH = 22.6). 

L-8: Located on the upper portion of the first 
beach level at 1 1 m asl., an axial structure may be 
present in a moss-covered area 3.8 by 3.0 m in size. 
Flakes of Mugford and Ramah chert were noted, along 
with a large microblade of Mugford chert. 

L-IO: This locality was situated in the middle of 
the second beach terrace, just under 12 m asl. There 
appeared to be a small axial structure, 2.4 m long, 70 



cm wide, oriented northwest-southeast. A bifacial 
implement of Ramah chert was noted nearby. 

L-] I: Near the middle of the second beach ter- 
race, at just under 12 m asl., was an indistinct rock 
structure associated with flakes of Ramah chert, slate 
and crystal quartz, as well as a large black chert 
microblade. 

L-12: This find spot was situated at the extreme 
eastern edge of the site, on the uppermost beach level 
at 1 2 m asl. It consisted of a Ramah chert stemmed 
point of Late Maritime Archaic Rattler's Bight form and 
a Ramah chert biface fragment that might also be of 
Maritime Archaic origin. A 1 m^ test pit was excavated 
in a mossy area 2 m southeast of these surface finds, 
since a few rocks suggested the possibility of a fea- 
ture, but no cultural material was encountered. The 
stemmed point is complete except for its tip (Figure 
224:b). It has well-defined shoulders and a striking 
platform at the base of its stem. The dorsal side of the 
stem is completely retouched, but the ventral side is 
only partially retouched. Only the margins of the blade 
element are retouched (L = >40 mm, W = 20.2, TH = 
4.9, Stem L = 12.5 Stem W[shoulder]= 11.8, Stem 
W[base] = 9.5). The Ramah chert biface is a distal frag- 
ment (Figure 224:a). Its dorsal face is almost complete- 
ly flaked while the ventral retouch is limited to the mar- 
gins ( W = >45 mm, TH = 6.3). 

L-13 This small locality was situated on the 
uppermost terrace of the beach, near the southwestern 
edge of the site at just under 1 2 m asl. It consisted of 
a dense concentration of green slate flakes in front of 
a boulder, suggestive of a reduction locale for 
adze/axe production. 

L-14 & 15: These two localities seemed continu- 
ous with each other and were located on the upper- 
most beach terrace at the western extremity of the 
site, about 1 1 m asl. L-14 contained possible structur- 
al rocks and a surface collection procured there con- 
sisted of a stemmed point, a biface base, and a large 
sidescraper. Slate flakes were also observed. The 
stemmed point (Figure 225:a) is a distal fragment 



308 



CHAPTER 1 3 



made of Ramah chert with a biconvex cross-section 
and slightly serrated lateral edges (W= 1 1 .2 mm, TH= 
2.5). The biface base (Figure 225:e), also made of 
Ramah chert, exhibits a faint trace of a shoulder 1 7.5 
mm above the base; it is probably part of a shoul- 
dered lanceolate implement (cf., Figure 224:c, d). The 
complete sidescraper (Figure 225:0 is made on a 
blade-like flake of dark gray Mugford chert (L = 57.0 
mm, W =21 .6, TH =6.3). The working edge is slightly 
concave, with a 65" angle. Both lateral edges are 
retouched and ground slightly, while the ventral side 
of the proximal end exhibits some thinning retouch. 
Use-wear in the form of edge rounding and a few 
small ventral fractures is present on the screwdriver- 
like distal tip and the distal portion of the working 
edge. The implement is almost identical to the combi- 
nation burin/scraper from L-1 (Figure 201 :c), minus 
the burination. 

At L-1 5, 2 m northwest of L-1 4, flakes of Mugford 
chert and slate were observed and an endblade pre- 
form, biface tip and two burins were surface collected. 
The endblade preform (Figure 223: f) is triangular, 
although missing its tip, and made from crystal quartz. 
It has a slightly concave base, which has been thinned 
bifacially, and a roughly biconvex cross-section (W = 
16.2 mm, TH = 4.0). The biface tip (Figure 225:b) of 
patinated chert has a biconvex cross-section. Both 
burins are made of gray Mugford chert and are 
unground. The first specimen (Figure 225:c) is made 
on a large flake with a striking platform at the base (L 
= 33.4 mm, W =21 .6, TH =6.2). On its dorsal side the 
proximal end is retouched with long flakes extending 
over the entire surface, while on the ventral side 
retouch is limited to the edge margins. One lateral 
edge has a slight shoulder while the other exhibits a 
small notch below the termination of a burin scar. The 
distal end platform has unifacial dorsal retouch, from 
which eight burin spalls have been removed obliquely. 
The second burin (Figure 223:e) is also made on a 
flake with a striking platform at its base (L =28.5 mm, 
W =1 7.5, TH = 4.3). The proximal portion of one later- 



al edge has a faint shoulder created by fine ventral 
retouch and slight grinding. The other lateral edge 
exhibits ventral retouch that thinned the bulb of per- 
cussion. The distal end is "beaked" with three burina- 
tion planes that involved 10 visible spall removals. 

L16: This small locality was located downslope 
from L-1 4/1 5 at 1 1 m asl. It consisted of a lithic scat- 
ter of Mugford chert flakes, a burin and an endblade; 
only the burin was collected. 

The burin (Figure 225:d) is made on a flake of gray 
Mugford chert with a striking platform at the base (L 
= 28.9 mm, W = 20.9, TH = 6.2). Its lateral edges are 
slightly retouched dorsally, producing faint constric- 
tions on each edge. The distal end has oblique dorsal 
retouch, including a small notch. Two burin spalls were 
removed, slightly obliquely. There is no facial grinding. 

L- 1 7. This locality lay between L-7 and L-8 at 1 1 m 
asl. Possible structural cobbles were associated with 
flakes of Mugford chert and slate. 

L-]8. About 1 m south of L-9, on the uppermost 
beach terrace at 1 2 m asl., was a rock structure 2 m in 
diameter that was associated with Mugford chert, 
Ramah chert and slate flakes. 

L-]9. Positioned near the eastern edge of the site 
between L-1 1 and L-1 2, at 1 2 m asl., this find spot 
contained a few Mugford chert flakes. 

L-20. Located between L-1 and a bare rock out- 
crop to the southwest, at 1 m asl., L-20 consisted of 
possible structural remains associated with a Ramah 
chert biface base and crystal quartz flakes. 

L-2] Southeast of L-1 was a vegetated area 
between two rock outcrops. A few flakes of Mugford 
chert and slate were observed and there is potential for 
structural remains beneath the vegetation. 

INTER-LOCUS COMPARISONS 

The preceding sections explored spatial variation with- 
in each locus. Before providing an overall assessment 
of the site a comparison between the excavated loci 
will be presented, considering variation in tool types, 
lithic raw materials and spatial organization. Table 91 



ATTU'S POINT: A PRE-DORSET 'CENTRAL PLACE" ON WEBB BAY 



309 



Table 91. Attu's Point: Comparison of Tool Classes by Excavated Loci and Other Collections. 





L-1 


N (%) 


L-5 N (%) 


L-7 N (%) 


Surface, L-9 N (%) 


Endblades 


4 


(8.2) 


4 


(4.9) 


6 (25.0) 




Endblade preforms 


4 


(8.2) 


1 


(1.2) 


1 (4.2) 


1 (5.0) 


Endblades/points 






2 


(2.4) 


2 (8.3) 




Stemmed points 






1 


(1.2) 




1 (5.0) 


Lanceolate bifaces 












2 (10.0) 


Bifaces 


2 


(4.1) 


3 


(3.7) 




5 (25.0) 


Burins 






3 


(3.7) 


2 (8.3) 


3 (15.0) 


Burin spalls 


1 1 


(22.4) 


1 7 


(20.7) 


6 (25.0) 




Microblades 


1 3 


(26.5) 


19 


(23.2) 


4 (16.7) 


2 (10.0) 


Microblade cores 






2 


(2.4) 






Other cores 












2 (10.0) 


Scrapers 


2 


(4.1) 


3 


(3.7) 




1 (5.0) 


Scraper/burins 


1 


(2.0) 


1 


(1.2) 






Utilized flakes 


10 


(20.4) 


24 


(29.3) 


3 (12.5) 


2 (10.0) 


Celts/adzes 


2 


(4.1) 


2 


(2.4) 




1 (5.0) 


TOTAL 


49 




82 




24 


20 



Table 92. Attu's Point: Comparison of Tool Raw Material Frequencies by Excavated Loci and Other Collections. 





L-1 


N (%) 


L-5 N (%) 


L-7 N (%) 


Surface, L-9 N (%) 


Dark gray Mugford 


18 


(36.7) 


36 (43.9) 


14 (58.3) 


9 (45.0) 


Light gray Mugford 


16 


(32.7) 


3 (3.7) 


3 (12.5) 




Cray-speckled chert 


3 


(6.1) 


6 (7.3) 


1 (4.2) 




Patinated chert 






2 (2.4) 




1 (5.0) 


Black chert 


1 


(2.0) 


4 (4.9) 




3 (15.0) 


Ramah chert 


2 


(4.1) 


11 (13.4) 


3 (12.5) 


4 (20.0) 


Crystal quartz 


6 


(12.3) 


10 (12.2) 


3 (12.5) 


2 (10.0) 


Slate 


2 


(4.1) 


2 (2.4) 




1 (5.0) 


Gray silicified slate 


1 


(2.0) 


8 (9.8) 






TOTAL 


49 




82 


24 


20 



outlines the variation in Pre-Dorset tool types between 
the three excavated loci and the other localities at the 
site. Most notable is the relatively high proportion of 
endblades and preforms at L-7 (the smallest sample) 
versus their low proportion at L-5 (the largest sample), 



a trend supported by the expected frequencies calcu- 
lated for the table. The proportion of burin spalls is 
consistent across the loci, although burins themselves 
are absent at L-1, aside from a single combination 
scraper-burin. L-7 is relatively lacking in implement 



310 



CHAPTER 1 3 



Table 93. Attu's Point: Comparison of Flake Raw Material Frequencies by Excavated Loci. 





L-1 


N (%) 


L-5 N (%) 


L-7 N (%) 


Dark gray Mugford 


1 1 


(4.8) 


38 


(1 1.9) 


175 (40.8) 


Light gray Mugford 


99 


(43.2) 


9 


(2.8) 




Cray-speckled chert 


5 


(2.2) 


1 1 


(3.5) 


73 (17.0) 


Patinated chert 


32 


(13.9) 


16 


(5.0) 


14 (3.3) 


Black chert 


5 


(2.2) 


4 


(1.3) 


4 (0.9) 


Ramah chert 


2 


(0.9) 


44 


(13.9) 


23 (5.4) 


Biostrome chert 






1 


(0.3) 




Crystal quartz 


1 8 


(6.8) 


4 


(1.3) 


7 (1.6) 


Slate 


57 


(25.6) 


1 1 5 


(36.3) 


133 (31.0) 


Clastic slate 






62 


(19.6) 




Light gray silicified slate 






1 3 


(4.1) 




TOTAL 


229 




317 




429 



Table 94. Attu's Point: Comparison of Total Lithic Raw Material Weights by Excavated Loci. In Grams. 





L 


1 g (%) 


L-5 g (%) 


L-7 g (%) 


Dark gray Mugford 


48.6 


(10.1) 


89.7 


(17.4) 


58.0 


(25.0) 


Light gray Mugford 


59.9 


(12.5) 


16.5 


(3.2) 






Gray-speckled chert 


24.0 


(5.0) 


7.8 


(1.5) 


1 1.1 


(4.8) 


Patinated chert 


13.2 


(2.8) 


9.4 


(1.8) 


7.0 


(3.0) 


Black chert 


3.1 


(0.6) 


7.0 


(1.4) 


2.6 


(1.1) 


Ramah chert 


42.5 


(8.9) 


30.8 


(6.0) 


6.9 


(3.0) 


Biostromatic chert 






0.4 


(0.1) 






Crystal quartz 


28.3 


(5.9) 


8.3 


(1.6) 


6.7 


(2.9) 


Slate 


259.8 


(54.2) 


222.5 


(43.2) 


1 39.3 


(60.1) 


Clastic slate 






72.5 


(14.1) 






Light gray silicified slate 






50.1 


(9.7) 







classes that might be considered "maintenance" tools: 
microblades, scrapers, and utilized flakes. Celts/adzes 
were also absent at L-7, despite the presence of con- 
siderable slate debitage. Lanceolate bifaces ("knives") 
are lacking from all three loci, with the possible excep- 
tion of a biface edge fragment from L-5, although they 
were surface collected elsewhere at the site. The limit- 
ed excavation areas may contribute to sampling error, 

ATTU'S POINT, A PRE-DORSET "CENTRAL PLACE" ON WEBB BAY 



but there seem to be functional or depositional differ- 
ences here. 

The overall trend in the excavated and surface col- 
lected material is towards a high proportion of har- 
poon endblades and preforms, relatively few stemmed 
points or small bipointed bifaces that might be arrow 
points, relatively few burins, scrapers and bifacial 
knives. There is a fairly high proportion of burin spalls 

31 1 



relative to burins and a low proportion of microblade 
cores relative to microblades, both of which point to 
curation processes. The functional significance of this 
pattern for the site as a whole will be taken up below. 

Table 92 displays the frequency of tool raw mate- 
rials across the excavated and surface collected loci. 
Dark gray Mugford chert dominates overall. The most 
notable differences are that tools of light gray Mugford 
chert are found primarily at L I, less Ramah chert is 
present at L-1 and most of the gray silicified slate 
occurs at L-5. When expected frequencies are consid- 
ered it is clear that the high proportion of light gray 
Mugford chert at L-1 is the strongest pattern. Table 93 
compares the flake raw material frequencies across the 
three excavated loci. The clearest patterns are the pre- 
dominance of dark gray Mugford chert at L-7, light 
gray Mugford chert at L-1 , a slightly higher proportion 
of gray-speckled chert at L-7, a higher proportion of 
patinated chert at L-1, a higher proportion of Ramah 
chert at L-5 and the limitation of clastic slate to L-5. 
These trends are confirmed when expected frequen- 
cies are considered. Slate occurs in high proportions 
across the board. 

If we compare the proportions of tool and flake raw 
materials there are several examples of inconsistencies 
between the two. Both L-1 and L-5 seem to be somewhat 
low in debitage of dark gray Mugford chert compared 
with their abundance of tools made of this material. 
Conversely, L-1 and L-7 are completely lacking in tools 
made of patinated chert, while each has at least a mod- 
est number of flakes of the material, and L-7 lacks tools 
of black chert but contains a few flakes of the material. 
L-7 also lacks tools made of slate, while it has the high- 
est frequency of slate flakes of the three localities. 
These inconsistencies point to a technological organiza- 
tion involving asynchronous tool production/retouch 
and discard; in other words, curation processes and 
locational staging of reduction. Variations in the quan- 



tities of raw materials can result from the differential 
access of social units to point sources, personal pref- 
erence, or from households being at different posi- 
tions on the supply/consumption cycle. Table 94 com- 
pares total lithic raw material weights across the loci. 
Generic slate is clearly dominant in all cases, followed 
by dark gray Mugford chert, but the other materials 
vary somewhat in their proportions. 

Organizational differences in lithic reduction 
between the loci might also be seen in flake size dis- 
tributions. Figure 226 shows the size distributions of 
Mugford chert flakes (all variants lumped together) at 
each locality.^ ^ L-1 and L-5 have similar profiles, but 
L-7 has a much higher percentage of material in the 
<10 mm category and lower percentages in the cate- 
gories from <20 mm and larger. While sample size may 
be a factor, the L-7 material suggests more intensive 
secondary/tertiary reduction. In contrast, the flake size 
profiles for slate are very similar for all three loci 
(Figure 227). Furthermore, slate flake sizes are signifi- 
cantly larger than Mugford chert flakes, the former 
with modes ranging from <20 mm to <25 mm, the lat- 
ter with modes at <10 mm and <15 mm. Thus, not 
only is slate the most abundant material by weight at 
all loci, it is also reduced with less secondary/tertiary 
retouch than is the case for Mugford chert. This ten- 
dency may result from larger sized slate raw materials, 
the role of grinding rather than fine retouch in creating 
the final working edge, or lack of concern for material 
conservation. 

The ambiguous nature of the structural remains at 
L-1 and L-5 render comparisons of spatial organization 
somewhat difficult. Nonetheless, a set of similarities 
and differences can be formulated. At both L-1 and L- 
7 the majority of lithic materials were deposited on the 
seaward ("front ") side of the features. At L-7 this might 
be a consequence of the feature's orientation perpen- 
dicular to the beach front, with most activity being cen- 



Given the lack of screening the smaller size categories may be underrepresented. 



312 



CHAPTER 1 3 




226/ Attn' s Point: Mug ford chert flake size distribution. 



Slate Flake Size Distribution 



35 
30 
25 
20 
15 
10 
5 





<10 <15 <20 



=25 <30 <35 <40 <45 <50 >50 
5 mm classes 



227/ Attu's Point: slate flake size distribution. 

tered on a dwelling entrance. L-1 is problematic since 
the orientation of the apparent structure is uncertain, 
possibly oblique to the beach but conceivably parallel. 
Also, there may be more than one feature represented. 
One interpretation of the L-5 pattern was of an axial 
feature oriented parallel to the beach front with a pos- 
sible "external" activity area positioned along that par- 
allel axis. In the parallel to the beach interpretation of 



both L-1 and L-5, a hearth 
would be positioned at the ter- 
minal end of the feature rather 
than in the middle. An alterna- 
tive reading of L-5 as a linear 
series of three hearths would 
represent a quite different 
organization of space than the 
other two loci. 

At all three localities a high 
proportion of the tools tend to 
be associated with the axial fea- 
tures (or in the case of L-5 pos- 
sibly an isolated hearth), 
although a few implements 
occur on the flanks of the fea- 
tures. Tool frequencies are too 
low to identify statistically sig- 
nificant patterns in the spatial 
distribution of types, but a few 
observations are pertinent. At L- 
7 endblades and preforms lay 
close to the axial structure with 
a refit leading to a small group 
on one flank of the feature. At L- 
1 endblades and preforms were 
concentrated in a cache-like 
deposit, although this lay some 
distance from the hearth. 
However, if the L-1 feature was 
oriented parallel to the beach 
front, then the endblade/pre- 
form concentration would lie at 
the foot of the structure, a placement similar to L-7. At 
both L-1 and L-7 burin spalls were concentrated near 
the hearth/axial feature areas. 

One reason for the limited spatial patterning in 
tool types, which has also been observed elsewhere in 
the eastern Arctic (e.g., Dekin 1976; McChee 1979:52- 
55; Jensen 1 996:1 57; Mikalsen 2001 :86), may simply 
be the narrow range of types represented at the Attu's 





L-1 




L-5 




L-7 



ATTU'S POINT A PRE-DORSET "CENTRAL PLACE' ON WEBB BAY 



313 



Point localities. The paucity of burins, bifaces and 
scrapers is probably related to functional or social 
aspects of site use (see below). Another variable is 
preferential deposition of tools in the vicinity of axial 
features after use or rehafting, rather than in the 
places they were used— an axial feature "attraction 
effect" Oensen 1 996:1 56-1 58). 

Jensen's (1996) analysis of the spatial sorting of 
raw material types at Paleoeskimo sites in east 
Greenland observed that: "...each raw material must 
therefore have had its own individual depositional his- 
tory" (Jensen 1996:156; see also Mikalsen 2001). 
There are hints of similar patterning at Attu's Point. At 
both L-1 and L-7 Mugford chert flakes are generally 
associated with the axial features while slate flakes are 
concentrated in separate clusters on the flanks, sug- 
gesting the reduction activities for these materials 
were deliberately separated. This does not seem to be 
the case at L-5, but there it is possible to discern spa- 
tial distinctions in the deposition of "normal" versus 
"clastic" slate debitage. At L-1 there is a clear pattern 
of crystal quartz tool and flake deposition centered on 
the hearth/rock feature, but this does not seem to be 
the case at either L-5 or L-7. The frequencies of other 
raw materials are either too low or too variable from 
locus to locus to draw any conclusions. Nonetheless, it 
does seem that some of the more useful behavioral 
inferences from Paleoeskimo dwellings will be derived 
from raw material distributions, combined with 
detailed refitting studies. 

Chronology 

The 21 loci at the site occur as three separate linear dis- 
tributions on two main beach terraces, suggesting that 
Attu's Point was repeatedly occupied over some length 
of time. All loci lie between 10-12 m asl., a typical ele- 
vation for Pre-Dorset sites in the Nain region. The two 
excavated localities at 10 m asl. on the lowermost 
beach terrace, L-1 and L-5, were radiocarbon dated 
3750±60 B.P. and 3790±70 B.P., respectively. These 
assays provide a fairly good maximum date for the low- 



est beach level. As noted previously, attempts to 
acquire reliable radiocarbon dates from the higher 
beach levels were unsuccessful. Although the Pre- 
Dorset (and Maritime Archaic) material on the upper- 
most beach level near 12 m asl. could date ca. 4000- 
3900 B.P., it is also possible that some of it could date 
ca. 3700 B.P. or later. Although the linear distribution of 
the Pre-Dorset occupation on three different levels 
might indicate three periods with several contempora- 
neous social units, there is no reason to believe that set- 
tlement of the gently sloping beach was so closely 
bound to the shoreline that the different levels were not 
used simultaneously. One might even argue that the 
undisturbed condition of the axial feature at L-7, on the 
middle beach level at 1 1 m asl., could indicate that it 
was the last occupation at the site, post-dating the local- 
ities on the 10 m level. Consequently, without further 
radiocarbon dating, shoreline relations provide little 
help in developing an internal chronology for the site. 

In the absence of sufficient radiocarbon dates we 
are left with tool typology. Unfortunately, it has proved 
difficult to seriate Labrador Pre-Dorset sites beyond 
Early (4000-3600 B.P.), Middle (3500-3000 B.P.) and 
Late (3000-2800 B.P.) phases (Cox 1978); indeed, it 
has been particularly difficult to identify sites pertain- 
ing to the Middle phase. Cox (n.d.:8) concludes that, 
typologically speaking, Pre-Dorset was fairly static 
until 3000 B.P., when a series of changes led to the 
emergence of Croswater. He suggests that "subtle" dif- 
ferences may signal Middle phase material: concave vs 
straight based triangular endblades, thicker and less 
well-flaked triangular endblades, lack of edge serration 
on scrapers and burins, less edge serration on bifaces, 
predominantly straight vs tapered stems on bifaces 
and the presence of very small burins. One might add 
to this an increase in facial grinding on burins. 

It is difficult to identify any substantial evidence 
for such "later" attributes in the Attu's Point collection. 
Typologically, the two loci radiocarbon dated ca. 3800- 
3700 B.P. exhibit typical Early Pre-Dorset features such 
as straight-based triangular endblades with slight edge 



314 



CHAPTER 1 3 



serration. The only unusual item is a tiny burin on a 
microblade at L-5 (Figure 210;i). L-7, however, has a 
few implements with a possible later stamp. The two 
burins from this locus were both unusual types made 
on small flakes, one a very thin bifacially retouched 
specimen with partial grinding on both faces, the other 
with striations indicative of proto- or incomplete 
grinding (Figure 220:h, i). Additionally, a small triangu- 
lar endblade was slightly ground on both faces and 
another triangular endblade had slight grinding on one 
basal corner (Figure 220: a, e). These features are the 
only support for the suggestion that the undisturbed 
nature of the axial structure at this locus may indicate 
a late phase in the site occupation. In conclusion, with- 
out further excavation and dating of other loci at the 
site there are no grounds for supposing that the occu- 
pation of Attu's Point extends beyond the 4000-3600 
B.P. period. 

Structural Comparisons 

The well-preserved axial structure at L-7 bears some 
resemblance to the partially excavated structure at L- 
9. L-7 is also broadly similar in form to Pre-Dorset 
features excavated at Dog Bight L-5, east of Nain 
(Fitzhugh 1 976a: 1 30-1 33; Cox 1978:101). The latter 
site contained three structures, two of which consist- 
ed of well defined axial features measuring 3 m by 1 
m in size, with central box-hearths constructed of 
thick rocks and partial rings of tent anchor rocks. 
One of these structures had a number of small ther- 
moliths concentrated within the bounds of the axial 
feature, although there were few within the box- 
hearth itself (Fitzhugh 1 976a:l 33). A third structure, 
possibly disturbed, had an axial feature 2 by 1 m in 
size. The main difference between these structures 
and L-7 is the total lack of perimeter anchor rocks at 
L-7. Looking further afield, L-7 bears a striking 
resemblance to an axial structure at Tuapagssuit 
(64V1-I,10) near Nuuk, west Greenland (Gullov 
1 983:51; Gullov and Kapel 1988:47). Otherwise, L-7 
clearly lies within the broad tradition of Paleoeskimo 



axial features with box-hearths and thermoliths that 
is well documented from Independence I and Saqqaq 
contexts (e.g., Gronnow and Jensen 2003; Gronnow 
and Meldgaard 1991; Knuth 1967; Kramer 1996; 
McChee 1979; Mikalsen 2001; Mobjerg 1998, 1999; 
Olsen 1998; Schlederman 1990). 

The features at L-1 and L-5 are more difficult to 
evaluate given the likelihood of disturbance, but in 
both cases a hearth is positioned at the terminal end 
of a rock alignment rather than in the middle. Whether 
this signals a functional difference from the more stan- 
dard axial model at L-7 or individual choice in hearth 
placement cannot be determined from the present 
data. It is also conceivable that the spatial pattern at L- 
5 should not be interpreted within the expectations of 
the axial model, but instead as a linear series of 
hearths such as at Port Manvers Run-1 (Chapter 12). 
Not only might a linear hearth arrangement signal a 
functional difference from axial features, it could also 
be associated with different socio-spatial practices. 

Functional Variability 

The term functional variability denotes activity- 
related variability attributable to resource extrac- 
tion practices, the latter being subject to seasonal 
differences. As such, functional variability at Attu's 
Point is considered along two dimensions: dwelling 
structures and lithic assemblages. 

Arctic archaeologists have increasingly recog- 
nized formal variability in Early Paleoeskimo struc- 
tures, some of which is probably seasonal in 
nature. Yet there are no solid criteria for identify- 
ing structures of different seasonality. The most 
common assumption is that cold weather struc- 
tures were of more substantial construction and 
should exhibit considerable attention to heating 
facilities, resulting in emphasis on the hearth/axial 
feature arrangement and possibly larger accumula- 
tions of charcoal and fire-cracked rock (e.g.. Cox 
1978:98; Knuth 1967:45-51; Maxwell 1985:96-98; 
Odgaard 2003; Olsen 1998:111-116; Renouf 



ATTU'S POINT: A PRE-DORSET "CENTRAL PLACE" ON WEBB BAY 



315 



1993:191-197). It is also expected that there may 
be larger accumulations of tools than at warm- 
weather sites, and that these accumulations will 
occur primarily inside the structures, whereas 
warm-weather dwellings may be associated with 
external activity areas. 

On the other hand, Maxwell (1985:98) suggest- 
ed that sites lacking structural remains may be 
traces of snow house camps. Ramsden and IVIurray 
(1 995) provide tentative support for this from faunal 
associations that suggest "substantial" structures 
represent warm weather tent structures, while fea- 
tures consisting only of small vegetation patches 
with rocks indicate snow-walled winter dwellings. 
They also note, however, that structural variability 
can be expected in "transitional" seasons with vari- 
able weather and variable demands on construction 
techniques (Ramsden and Murray 1995:115-116). 
Although the safest conclusion to draw is that corre- 
lating structures and seasonality is highly problem- 
atic in the absence of faunal remains, it is by no 
means the case that the presence of faunal material 
will be decisive for interpretation. Cronnow and 
Jensen (2003: 337) note significant contradictions 
between faunal data and structural and lithic evi- 
dence from Independence I sites in northernmost 
Greenland. 

None of the excavated localities at Attu's Point 
exhibit structural remains that might be considered 
substantial constructions. There is little besides a 
hearth and the remains of a small axial feature or 
rock alignment. None of the features display a clear 
perimeter of anchor rocks. L-7 is unusual in its 
degree of preservation; its classic box-hearth illus- 
trates the use of thermoliths, but there was minimal 
accumulation of fire-cracked rock and very few tools. 
At L-5 there were few tools or flakes associated with 
the possible axial feature, but larger quantities of 
lithics were found a short distance away in a context 
that could be interpreted either as a disturbed struc- 
ture or as an external dump/activity area. 



The lack of perimeter rocks might be explained 
either by warm season use of wooden pegs to hold 
down tent skins or cold season use of snow. The lack 
of lithic accumulation has dubious relevance to the 
seasonality issue, since it is linked to longevity of occu- 
pation, group size and staging behavior in technologi- 
cal organization. The location of the Attu's Point fea- 
tures on beaches highly exposed to westerly winds is 
advantageous for mitigating insect torment during 
warmer seasons, but disadvantageous for cold sea- 
sons. In sum, the structural information is, by itself, of 
little value for the interpretation of site seasonality. 

As far as lithic assemblage variability is con- 
cerned, given the lack of fully published Pre-Dorset col- 
lections from other parts of Labrador it is difficult to 
provide a concrete assessment of how the Attu's Point 
assemblage fits into the overall range of functional vari- 
ation in Pre-Dorset material. The few existing accounts 
either provide no information on tool frequencies or 
lump together material from what are probably differ- 
ent loci, such that intra-site variation is masked (Cox 
1977, n.d.; Fitzhugh 1976; Tuck 1976). Inter-site com- 
parisons are of limited value without control over intra- 
site variation. That said, Attu's Point seems to exhibit a 
lower proportion of burins and perhaps scrapers than 
elsewhere. Lanceolate bifaces, probably hafted as 
knives (Cronnow 1994:206-207), are absent from the 
excavated loci (except for a possible fragment at L-5), 
although two were surface collected. There is a paucity 
of small stemmed or bipointed bifaces, which else- 
where have been identified as arrow points (Crennow 
1994:224; Gr0nnow and Meldgaard 1 991:135), pre- 
sumably for hunting terrestrial mammals. 

On the other hand, Attu's Point exhibits a fairly 
high proportion of triangular endblades, which were 
used as harpoon tips. Consequently, the excavated 
assemblages give the impression of being weighted 
towards "procurement" rather than "maintenance" 
activities and possibly towards the exploitation of 
seals rather than land mammals. This contrasts with 
the situation further north at Okak, where inner bay 



316 



CHAPTER 1 3 



sites have relatively few triangular endblades, which 
Cox (1 978:1 02) interprets as indicating summer occu- 
pation with less emphasis on sea mammal hunting. 
However, endblade equipped harpoons could also be 
used for hunting caribou, which seems likely at Pre- 
Dorset inland sites from the Barrenlands of the 
Northwest Territories (B. Gordon 1 996:1 55-1 59). 
Finally, the presence of three slate adzes and two 
celt/adze preforms indicates that procurement and 
processing of wood products, and/or butchering of 
frozen meat, may have been an important activity at 
this inner bay settlement. 

The emphasis in the foregoing was on tool assem- 
blages reflecting different activities. A related dimen- 
sion is the articulation of activities with social group 
composition. 

Some of the observed variation in assemblages 
could be related to differences in the gender composi- 
tion of the social units responsible for each occupation. 
For example, the high proportion of endblades and 
lack of maintenance tools (e.g., L-7) might indicate a 
predominantly male hunting party. On the other hand, 
there are no compelling grounds to assume strongly 
gender-specific tools, and the absence of such tools 
would not necessarily imply the absence of a gender. 

The quantity of Mugford cherts used at Attu's 
Point is fairly typical of Labrador Pre-Dorset. Black 
chert, on the other hand, seems unusually low in fre- 
quency for the Nain region. The high frequency of slate 
debitage also seems unusual for the Nain area, but a 
geographically comparable site from deep within the 
inner bay zone of the Okak region, Sipukat Bay-1 
(HjCn-1), also has a high frequency of celts/adzes 
(n=6) and slate is the dominant raw material (Cox 
1 977:230-237).^ The use of large quantities of slate 
for celts/adzes in the inner bay zones of Nain and 
Okak presumably is related to wood procurement and 
processing in forested areas. The quantity of Ramah 



chert found at Attu's Point appears to be somewhat 
greater than that noted at other Pre-Dorset sites in the 
Port Manvers Run area, but it is well below that report- 
ed for sites closer to the Ramah chert sources, such as 
Tuck's (1975:1 35) localities at Sagiek Bay (5.4-37.2% 
of the tools). It is possible that Pre-Dorset people at 
Attu's Point procured some of their Ramah chert from 
their Maritime Archaic neighbours in the Nain region, 
or that they scavenged chert from abandoned Maritime 
Archaic sites such as Attu's Bight (see Chapter 12). 

These superficial observations on functional varia- 
tion in Pre-Dorset lithic assemblages underline the 
importance of more detailed studies of Pre-Dorset 
technological organization. More information is need- 
ed concerning how Pre-Dorset lithic assemblages were 
formed and how variability relates to seasonal and sit- 
uational factors as well as raw material availability. 

CONCLUSIONS 

Attu's Point was used repeatedly for short seasonal 
occupations, presumably over a few hundred years. 
These occupations were directed towards a relatively 
limited range of functions and in some cases might 
have involved social units of restricted composition. 
But despite the ephemeral nature of individual loci, the 
repeated use of the site suggests it played a significant 
role in the regional settlement pattern, serving as a 
seasonal "central place." Few other Pre-Dorset sites in 
the Nain area exhibit such repetitive use. 

The functional signature of the Attu's Point lithic 
assemblage points to two main activities: sea mammal 
hunting and wood procurement and processing. 
Contemporary fauna availability patterns suggest it is 
most likely Attu's Point was occupied either in the early 
spring or the fall. At both these times a variety of seal 
species (but especially harps) may be plentiful in Webb 
Bay and could have been harpooned close to the site as 
they moved through the narrow passage between Igloo 



Sipukat Bay-1 was surface collected for tools, so no quantitative information on debitage frequencies is available. 



ATTU'S POINT: A PRE-DORSET "CENTRAL PLACE" ON WEBB BAY 



317 



Island and the mainland (Figure 1 53). Today the pas- 
sage sometimes may not freeze over until February; 
if this was the case in the past, open water sealing 
might have been possible during the early winter. 
Caribou have wintering areas in the mountains to the 
north and west of Webb Bay (Brice-Bennett 1 977:1 58- 
1 59), but in some years herds may winter on the 
coast, including in the valleys of neighboring South 
Aulatsivik Island. Their early spring and early winter 
movements over the ice between the mainland and 
South Aulatsivik Island^ ^ might be ideal periods to 
intercept major herd concentrations. However, the 
low frequency of stemmed points and lanceolate 
bifaces could indicate this was not a major activity at 
Attu's Point. 

Our own experience in early-middle July was 
that relatively little game is available at that time, or 
at least it is difficult to find. A shift to coastal settle- 
ments would be more advantageous during this 



period when seals, fish and sea birds are concen- 
trated in the outer island fringe. The situation 
changes in late summer and early fall when char and 
salmon re-enter the inner bays, geese and ducks are 
plentiful and black bears come down to the shores 
and stream mouths. Later in the fall harp seals move 
through Port Manvers Run. Consequently, late 
summer and fall might provide a mix of resources to 
draw Pre-Dorset people from the outer coast. 
Additionally, given the prominence of slate tools 
and debitage at Attu's Point, it is likely that fall 
occupations were used to stock up on needed wood 
supplies and to prepare wooden implements for 
the winter, while spring occupations could have 
replenished supplies exhausted during the winter. 
How this interpretation of Attu's Point fits into the 
broader view of Pre-Dorset settlement patterns in 
the Nain area and Labrador as a whole is taken up in 
Chapter 1 4. 




A nefarious crew at Immilikulik Island. Left to right: Eric Loring, Dosia Laeyendecker, Susan Rowley, Ben Fitzhugh, 
Joshua Fitzhugh. (Photo: W. Fitzhugh 1985) 



^5 Such a situation was observed in late April 1994, with westward moving animals crossing the ice over the southern 
entrance to Port Manvers Run near Double Island Cove. 



318 



CHAPTER 1 3 



The St.ucturat.on of 

Maritime Archaic/ Pre- Dorset 
Social boundaries in L_ a brad or 



One of the recurring themes in Labrador prehistory 
and history has been the shifting social boundaries 
between Inuit/Pre-lnuit and Innu/Pre-lnnu peoples 
(e.g., Fitzhugh 1972, 1977, 1987; Taylor 1979). With 
that in mind, it is now time to draw together several 
threads that were developed in the previous two chap- 
ters and address the question of social boundary rela- 
tions between the Maritime Archaic and Pre-Dorset 
peoples. Evidence accumulated since the early 1 970s 
demonstrates that these two cultures overlapped in 
time between 4000-3500 B.P., corresponding to 2500- 
1800 BC (calibrated). Despite this lengthy period of 
coexistence, the archaeological assemblages of the 
two cultures exhibit virtually no unambiguous indica- 
tions of interaction. 

Up to this point, the Maritime Archaic/Pre-Dorset 
boundary problem has been discussed largely as a 
culture-historical problem, using the traditional con- 
cepts of contact situations with a cultural-ecology 
overlay. This has been useful, certainly, but the impor- 
tance of this unique situation for understanding the 
developmental trajectories of each culture necessi- 
tates linking the specific historical context to broader 
theoretical issues. This chapter considers frameworks 
for doing so, although some new data will also be pre- 
sented. These frameworks are drawn from different 
paradigmatic sources, one emphasizing ecological 
causality, the other focusing on culturally constructed 



landscapes. Crudely put, they correspond to the theo- 
retical boxes termed, respectively, processual and 
post-processual archaeology. The boundaries con- 
structed around these viewpoints originate from 
major ontological differences, but their architecture is 
also derived partly from the polemics of territorial 
defense within theoretical identity politics. Although 
the pragmatic approach is to regard the opposed 
arguments as representing alternative entry points to 
a common problem and work towards some form of 
integration, it is difficult to reconcile conceptual struc- 
tures emanating from divergent ontological first prin- 
ciples. Consequently, one function of this chapter is 
to reflect upon the dilemma of working with the con- 
ceptual tensions found at the boundaries between dif- 
ferent archaeologies. When all is said and done, it is 
hoped that the chapter can show how a specific prob- 
lem in Subarctic culture- history can, in a modest way, 
illuminate central issues in archaeological knowledge 
construction. 

CULTURE-HISTORICAL BACKGROUND 

The potential for interaction between the Maritime 
Archaic and Pre-Dorset in Labrador was first identified 
during James Tuck's 1969-1971 research at Sagiek 
Bay (Tuck 1975, 1976). Given virtually contemporane- 
ous radiocarbon dates for the cultures from superim- 
posed strata at Rose Island Site Q, Tuck (1975:195- 



A shorter preliminary version of this chapter was published in Hood (2000). 



THE STRUCTURATION OF MARITIME ARCHAIC/PRE-DORSET 
SOCIAL BOUNDARIES IN LABRADOR 



319 



196) speculated about possible cultural transfers: tog- 
gling harpoons from the Maritime Archaic to the Pre- 
Dorset and the bow and arrow from the Pre-Dorset to 
the Maritime Archaic, as suggested by the initial 
appearance of small projectile points in the Late 
Maritime Archaic. More recent research indicates 
these proposals are problematic. Toggling harpoons 
have been found in early Saqqaq contexts such as 
Qeqertassusuk, Greenland (Crannow 1994) and small 
"flake points" have been found in Maritime Archaic 
sites dated as early as ca. 6000-5500 B.P. (e.g., 
Nukasusutok-5), although these need not indicate the 
presence of bows and arrows. 

During the 1970s and 1980s, William Fitzhugh 
and his colleagues' fieldwork on the north coast of 
Labrador expanded the data base for both cultures and 
radiocarbon dates confirmed the overlap of the Late 
Maritime Archaic Rattlers Bight Phase and Early Pre- 
Dorset between 3900-3500 B.P. (Cox 1978, 1988; 
Fitzhugh 1975, 1976, 1978, 1980, 1984; Thomson 
1982, 1983, 1985). Although the two cultures some- 
times occupied the same or nearby sites, little indica- 
tion of contact was seen in their tool assemblages. 
Fitzhugh (1978:91, 1984:22) referred to a possible 
Maritime Archaic copy of a Pre-Dorset burin, Cox 
(1 977:235) pointed to a Maritime Archaic gouge re- 
worked by the Pre-Dorset and the presence of a 
Maritime Archaic sandstone plummet at a Pre-Dorset 
site (Cox 1988:3), and Chapter 13 in the present vol- 
ume reported a Late Maritime Archaic stemmed point 
and possible biface on the upper terrace of the Attu's 
Point Pre-Dorset site. Each culture used a distinct set of 
lithic raw materials. The Maritime Archaic focussed 
almost exclusively on translucent Ramah chert for their 
flaked stone tools; this had to be procured from the 
Ramah Bay region at the northernmost periphery of the 
Maritime Archaic world (Cramly 1978; Lazenby 1980). 
The Pre-Dorset used a varied set of colored cherts, 
most of which were obtained in the Cape Mugford 
area, north of Okak (Cramly 1978; Lazenby 1980), 
although varying amounts of Ramah chert also appear 



in their assemblages. The organization of their lithic 
technologies was therefore anchored at different 
points in the landscape. 

Much of the 1980s' fieldwork focussed on inter- 
preting Maritime Archaic social organization and com- 
munity structure. Late Maritime Archaic people used 
longhouse structures— presumably interconnected 
tent dwellings— ranging in size from 15 to 100 m 
long. The individual segments of the longhouses were 
interpreted as the floor spaces of individual families, 
which suggested co-residential group sizes ranging 
from 50 to 100 people. The northern Labrador site of 
Nulliak Cove, situated between Hebron and Sagiek Bay, 
contained up to 27 longhouses and was interpreted as 
a short-term seasonal staging camp for accessing the 
Ramah chert sources, 50 km to the north (Fitzhugh 

1980, 1984, 1985a,b). Maritime Archaic longhouse 
community organization, combined with mortuary cer- 
emonialism and exchange systems, suggested some 
degree of social elaboration or "complexity" (Fitzhugh 

1981, 1984; Hood 1993, 1995). 

In contrast, Pre-Dorset usually maintained small 
group sizes of perhaps one to three co-residential fam- 
ilies housed in independent tent dwellings. There are, 
however, a number of Pre-Dorset sites with multiple 
occupation locales indicating either seasonal aggrega- 
tion or regular re-occupation. In contrast to the 
Maritime Archaic, Pre-Dorset exhibits no evidence for 
social "complexity," at least if one considers the most 
frequently used indicator variables. 

The spatial distribution of Maritime Archaic and 
Pre-Dorset sites from Nain to the Torngat Mountains 
suggested that the two cultures partitioned their set- 
tlement space. Fitzhugh (1984:21-23) proposed an 
"enclave model" that consisted of a Maritime Archaic 
"core area" along the central coast south of Nain and a 
Pre-Dorset core area in the northern Torngat moun- 
tains and the Nain-Okak regions. The Pre-Dorset core 
areas encompassed both the sources of their preferred 
cherts near Cape Mugford as well as the Ramah chert 
sources preferred by the Maritime Archaic (Figure 



320 



CHAPTER 1 4 



Ramah chert 
Sagiek 

Hebron 



Mugford chert 




100 



km 



I I Pre-Dorset core area 
\^//\ Maritime Archaic core area 
Exx^ Overlap 



Hamilton Inlet 



228/ Distribution of Late Maritime Arcliaic and Pre-Dorset settlement in Labrador: the 
macro-territorial model (after Fitzhugh 1984). 



228). The Hebron-Sagiek area was an overlap zone 
since it contained Maritime Archaic seasonal staging 
camps for accessing the Ramah chert sources. 
Fitzhugh (1984:21-23) identified a local Maritime 
Archaic enclave at Nulliak Cove, situated between 
Hebron and Sagiek, and a local Pre-Dorset enclave at 
Harp Isthmus on the south side of the entrance to 
Hebron Fjord. In later years, the find of a substantial 
Late Maritime Archaic Rattlers Bight Phase site at 
Attu's Bight in the Main region (see Chapter 12) led 
Fitzhugh (1986:57) to suggest the enclave model 
might have to be modified. 

One implication of the enclave model is that the 
Maritime Archaic need to maintain seasonal bases in 



northern Labrador in order to 
acquire Ramah chert, the 
stress of maintaining a long 
distance chert delivery system, 
and territorial behavior in the 
overlap zone, may all have 
contributed to the cultural 
elaboration seen during the 
Rattlers Bight Phase (Fitzhugh 
1984:23-24). Ultimately, how- 
ever, these features may have 
overloaded Maritime Archaic 
organizational capacities and 
contributed to the apparent 
disappearance of the culture 
as a recognizable entity in the 
archaeological record after 
3500 B.P. (Hood 1993:179). 
Although the situation is usu- 
ally seen from the perspective 
of the Maritime Archaic (given 
fascination with the puzzling 
disappearance of "complexi- 
ty"), Pre-Dorset was also affect- 
ed by the inter-cultural dynam- 
ic. The visibility of Pre-Dorset 
sites also diminishes markedly 
after 3500 B.P., although to some extent this might 
be attributable to few radiocarbon dates and limited 
typological change that masks the presence of sites 
post-dating 3500 B.P. (Cox 1988). 

With this basic culture-historical framework in 
mind we can consider the issues involved in theorizing 
Maritime Archaic/Pre-Dorset social boundary relations 
using Fitzhugh's (1984) preliminary model as a point 
of departure. On the one hand, the model postulates 
cultural macro-territoriality: the Maritime Archaic dom- 
inating the central coast, Pre-Dorset the Torngats and 
the Nain-Okak regions. On the other hand, the model 
also postulates micro-territoriality occurring within a 
zone of seasonal overlap (Hebron-Ramah) in which the 



THE STRUCTURATION OF MARITIME ARCHAIC/PRE-DORSET 
SOCIAL BOUNDARIES IN LABRADOR 



321 



Maritime Arclnaic maintained "enclaves, "staging camps 
for Ramah chert acquisition expeditions. While useful 
as an initial discussion, this image is somewhat static, 
implying a degree of boundary equilibrium over sever- 
al centuries. Additionally, territoriality is a complex 
concept that has often been formulated in ecological 
terms, but w/hich has intertwined ecological and social 
components that need to be drawn out. The following 
pages will attempt gradually to re-work this prelimi- 
nary image into something potentially more dynamic. 

One issue that needs to be addressed is whether 
this "contact" relationship might be formulated in 
terms of ethnicity. Over 30 years later, it is still the 
case that Barth's (1969) conceptualization of ethnicity 
remains fundamental. Summarized briefly, it postu- 
lates that ethnicity is a self-ascribed category and a 
form of social organization used to structure interac- 
tion. Ethnicity arises through engagement rather than 
isolation, such that "...boundaries persist despite a 
flow of personnel across them" (Barth 1969:9). Inter- 
ethnic relations are ordered by rules that define poten- 
tial roles and statuses and boundaries are signaled by 
a selected range of features, behaviors or values that 
agents regard as significant. Fundamental as this defi- 
nition may be, the conceptualization is inconvenient 
for prehistoric archaeologists in that self-ascription 
and the persistence of boundaries despite social 
mobility render recognition of ethnic boundary 
processes highly problematic in the absence of supple- 
mental textual information. Variations in material cul- 
ture can be related to the formation of social identity 
groups at different scales (e.g., clans, gender, region- 
al bands, dialect groups, etc.) and it is difficult to 
untangle the various threads in archaeological situa- 
tions. For example, contrasts between the northern 
and southern branch Maritime Archaic, as exemplified 
by the intrusive Black Island Complex (4500-41 00 B.P.) 
at Hamilton Inlet (Fitzhugh 1975), suggest the exis- 
tence of different social identity groups in southern 
and central Labrador prior to the Pre-Dorset coloniza- 
tion, but to what extent can those differences be 



viewed as "ethnic"? Most archaeologists would agree 
that the material culture and behavioral differences 
between the Pre-Dorset and the Maritime Archaic are 
so marked that they were distinct social identity 
groups, but it is debatable whether understanding of 
their interaction can be enhanced by invoking ethnici- 
ty theory. In any event, one could say that pronounced 
ethnic differences may not have existed in northern 
Labrador prior to the Pre-Dorset colonization ca. 4000 
B.P.. Ethnicity only became an emergent relation in a 
culture contact situation structured by marked differ- 
ences in language and behavior, and potentially com- 
petitive land-use relations. 

Whether or not ethnicity concepts are involved, 
the interaction situation must be understood in terms 
of two main dimensions. First, there must be ecologi- 
cal parameters focusing on the energetics of boundary 
maintenance. Population interaction models from evo- 
lutionary ecology may direct us towards alternative 
modes of resource partitioning with different out- 
comes for inter-cultural relations. Second, there must 
be social parameters involving the different organiza- 
tional and cultural practices used by the two societies 
to structure boundary maintenance strategies. Overall, 
how did the cultural construction and use of the land- 
scape articulate with these two dimensions of human 
action? Here we have a set of seemingly incompatible 
or incongruent themes— one ecological and material- 
ist, the other social and constructionist— that network 
themselves around a common problem. How do we go 
about constructing interpretive narratives or theory in 
this or similar situations? The next section lays out 
some of the issues that draw our local problem into 
the heart of recent debates in archaeological theory. 

WORKING AT THEORETICAL 
BOUNDARIES: "LANDSCAPE" 
AS A PLATFORM FOR DIALOGUE? 

After over 1 5 years of often heated debate and 
mutual dismissal tactics between what we have come 
to call processual and post-processual archaeologies, a 



322 



CHAPTER 14 



series of statements have appeared that call for some 
degree of convergence, reconciliation, or modus Viven- 
di. Schiffer (2000) for example, advocates "building 
bridges" between different conceptual structures. 
Following Galison (1996), Wylie (2000) refers to inter- 
field "trading zones." Hodder (2001) and Preucel and 
Hodder (1996) argue for a multi-perspectival plural- 
ism, while Schiffer (2000) sees this as resulting in 
potentially dangerous fragmentation and eclecticism. 
Despite the proliferation of various archaeological 
sects since the 1980s and the groping towards some 
fusion of interpretive horizons, much of the disci- 
pline's discourse still seems to migrate towards poles 
defined by "processual" or "post-processual," which 
have now become firmly entrenched categories of 
research history as well as axes of social organization 
within archaeology. 

Tendencies towards polarization have been aided 
and abetted by clinging to resistant first principles that 
are played out as a series of explicit or implicit concep- 
tual dualisms which, when assembled, constitute two 
competing ontologies of archaeology. One ontology 
privileges the view of humans as biological beings and 
is founded on adaptation as its central metaphor, from 
which a series of more specific causal theories is 
derived. The other ontology privileges the view of 
humans as thoroughly cultural beings, suspended in 
webs of significance they themselves have construct- 
ed. Language is the dominant metaphor, from which 
subsidiary interpretive theories of meaning are drawn. 
Thus, the Nature/Culture opposition is the eminence 
gris lurking behind much of the debate. 

Attempts to move beyond the sterile processual/ 
post-processual debates require working at overcom- 
ing the troublesome Nature/Culture dualism. A recent 
review article by Anschuetz et al. (2001), who write 
from an American "liberal processual" perspective, 
suggests that a "landscape paradigm" can bridge the 
great divide between processual and post-processual 
views. The authors are careful to define this approach 
as a "methodological paradigm": a set of tools that can 



be used in solving common puzzles (as perMasterman 
1970:70), thereby leading to accommodation or inte- 
gration between different theoretical frameworks 
(Anschuetz et al. 2001:160-164, 191). Besides the 
residual odor of "unified science" views (cf., Wylie 
2000), which are highly problematic, this "integrative" 
methodological approach attempts to insulate practi- 
cal action from ontological issues and deliberately 
skirts the difficulties of bridging radically different 
conceptual structures. Research in cognitive history of 
science and on conceptual change in general suggests 
these issues cannot be ducked so easily (e.g., Chi 
1992; Giere 1994; Kuhn 2000; Latour 1993; 
Nersessian and Andersen 1997; Thagard 1992). 

Writing from a different perspective, Tilley's 
(1994) landscape phenomenology has also argued for 
overcoming the Nature/Culture opposition. It is diffi- 
cult to quarrel with Tilley's statement that: "...the rela- 
tionship between people and it [landscape] is a con- 
stant dialectic and process of structuration: the land- 
scape is both medium for and outcome of action and 
previous histories of action. Landscapes are experi- 
enced in practice, in life activities" (Tilley 1 994:23). But 
Tilley's landscape phenomenology is positioned in 
strategic opposition to adaptationism, so he takes a 
thoroughly constructionist view of landscape struc- 
turation: "Landscape is a signifying system through 
which the social is reproduced and transformed, 
explored and structured — process organized. 
Landscape, above all, represents a means of conceptu- 
al ordering that stresses relations" (Tilley 1994:34). 
With Tilley it is the meaningful and symbolic that is 
privileged, with practice and life activities exemplified 
by Australian hunter-gatherers moving through a land- 
scape of sacred places encoded by Dreamtime mythol- 
ogy, but completely without reference to practices and 
environmental knowledge that facilitate subsistence. 
To adapt a phrase from Tim Ingold, Tilley treats Nature 
primarily as "...raw material for imaginative acts of 
world-making" (Ingold 1996:1 50). The landscape is so 
good to think we don't need to worry about eating. 



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Ingold's (1996:150) critique of constructionist 
thinking argues that constructionism reinforces 
rather than challenges the ecological determinist 
models because its logic creates separate domains in 
which such models can be used. With a slice of the 
intellectual knife, two conceptual planes are created: 
(1 ) Nature, a space inhabited by biological organisms 
(animals) that forage to extract resources, and (2) 
Society, consisting of persons (thinking subjects) liv- 
ing in a culturally constructed landscape and 
engaged in the production and distribution of 
resources (Ingold 1996:127, 149). Ingold rejects the 
cultural constructionist argument that social rela- 
tions serve as a model for ecological relations 
because it requires a disembedding of practical 
engagement with the environment from the social 
relations that constitute humans as social actors, a 
separation of Mind from World, Nature from Society, 
Organism from Person and Biological relations from 
Social relations (Ingold 1996:126-128). Ingold sug- 
gests hunter-gatherers do not make such conceptual 
separations; instead, they have similar kinds of rela- 
tions with both the human and non-human con- 
stituents of the environment. In hunter-gatherer 
worlds, animals can be persons and humans have 
social relations both with other humans and with ani- 
mals, such that harvesting animal resources is not 
just a technical relation (Ingold 1996:127-131). 
Consequently, landscapes are not simply "socially 
constructed" by imposing a conceptual schema over 
Nature. Movement through the landscape involves 
engagement and learning, discovery rather than 
imposition of a predefined mental grid; practice in 
the environment constitutes persons and persons 
constitute their environments (Ingold 1 996: 1 38- 1 46). 
There is no radical break between ecological and 
social relations and "environments are constituted in 
life, not Just in thought, and it is only because we live 
in an environment that we can think at all" (Ingold 
1996:1 50-1 51). 



While Ingold's argument is attractive, it is far from 
clear how such ontological reflection can be translated 
into research practice. The analysis of concrete archae- 
ological/anthropological problems may be difficult 
without some sort of fundamental Nature/Culture con- 
ceptual categorizations (Ellen 1996:29-30). Analytical 
arguments, as opposed to abstract ontological reflec- 
tions, require a choice of entry points, each of which 
commit the entrant to navigate certain directions along 
conceptual networks rather than others. The alterna- 
tive is eclectic incoherence or a discussion conducted 
at such a high level of abstraction that it would lose the 
very connection with human practice that Ingold views 
as the key issue. One of the hallmarks of "paradigm" 
shifts is the emergence of new concepts, changes in 
the meaning of old concepts and the shifting of old 
concepts into new systems of relations, sometimes by 
analogical extension, which involves major changes in 
lexical systems and results in incommensurability 
problems (e.g., Chi 1992; Kuhn 2000; Nersessian and 
Andersen 1997; Thagard 1992). For Ingold's (2000) 
perspective to become a viable alternative research 
program it is necessary to build up a new conceptual 
system that embeds his terms— such as "enskillment," 
"affordances" and "taskscapes"— within a semantic 
network of greater depth and precision that includes 
archaeologically relevant categories. Gamble (1999) 
has made a valiant effort in that direction, but the con- 
ceptual affordances for steering concrete research 
problems remam very limited. 

All things considered, during the current period 
of stalemate between competing ontologies of archae- 
ology there is something to be said for Anschuetz et 
al.'s (2001) advocacy of a landscape perspective. 
Although their view of landscape as an integrative 
methodological paradigm should be rejected, there is 
no reason why "landscape" cannot serve as a platform 
for dialogue, a point of departure for debating the 
problems and commitments that separate contempo- 
rary archaeologies. 



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PARTIAL READINGS: 
NAVIGATING THE 
BOUNDARIES 

...tension in theories, as in politics, is a 
creative force. ..we may see theories. ..as 
articulated within an intertextual field 
wherein they derive much of their mean- 
ing from what they oppose and thus, in a 
sense, confirm the importance of what 
they deny. ..Let us call this dissonance, 
facetiously, 'hypertension'... (Edwards 
1994:261-262). 

If there are incommensurable frame- 
works or conceptual schemes, as 
Collingwood, Kuhn and others affirm, 
there could be no neutral overarching 
standards in virtue of which a rational 
adjudication between them could be 
made. Yet the mutual non-translatability 
of such schemes does not prohibit one 
from pursuing each in turn— much as a 
bilingual uses one language and then 
another— all the while constrained by 
such practical matters as the seemingly 
obvious requirement that one must 
speak one language at a time or by the 
different aims inherent in each frame- 
work (Harre and Krausz 1 996:2 1 7). 

Arguments that today's competing archaeologies are 
irrevocably incommensurate are exaggerated and 
serve mostly as a boundary maintenance strategy in 
theoretical identity politics. Despite significant concep- 
tual differences, competing "paradigms' must overlap 
to some extent, otherwise discussion between their 
respective proponents would be impossible (Bernstein 
1983:85-93). Paradigms may be compared in various 
ways by moving back and forth between them in order 
to draw out elements of overlap and contrast 
(Bernstein 1 983:86, 90); Wylie (1 989) uses C.S. Pierce's 
"cables and tacking" metaphor to characterize these 



interpretive strategies at the boundaries of different 
frameworks. Working at these points of contact and 
contrast may help expose the processes through which 
intellectual boundaries are constructed. The opposi- 
tional tone between processual and post-processual 
archaeologies was understandable and perhaps 
inevitable, but such "hypertensional" rhetoric may 
serve as a cloaking device, disguising the process 
whereby each side "...derive[s] much of their meaning 
from what they oppose and thus, in a sense, confirm 
the importance of what they deny" (Edwards 
1994:261). Also cloaked is how these conceptual 
boxes create artificial closures around what are best 
described (metaphorically) as idea networks. Such 
polemical closures are ironic for post-processualists 
who otherwise write of intertextuality: they ignore the 
consequences of their own constructionism. 

Intertextuality notwithstanding, navigating con- 
ceptual structures cannot be a random walk through a 
network. Choices of entry point are required and these 
choices have consequences for the direction of the 
entrants' navigation route. One cognitive-philosophical 
approach sees knowledge as structured in type hierar- 
chies, with different type hierarchies implying different 
ontologies about how the world is organized (e.g., dif- 
ferent type hierarchies for the adaptationist vs cultural 
constructionist ontologies). Since concepts at lower 
portions of a hierarchy inherit properties from super- 
types positioned higher in the hierarchy, activating 
concepts at any level of the hierarchy implicitly down- 
loads other properties of the ontological system 
(Aronson et al. 1995:27-54). This is not to say that 
such structures are governed by rigid necessity; if they 
are to function in practice and develop further they 
must be marked by an "open texture" that permits 
some flexibility in ordering (Harre 2002:264). But it 
does suggest that working at the boundaries of ontolo- 
gies and attempting to develop new "conceptual 
blends" (Fauconnier and Turner 2002) cannot escape 
the dilemma of conceptual inheritance that is an auto- 
matic consequence of choosing a starting position. 



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Considering the multitude of problems attendant 
with attempts to build new theory at the boundaries 
between current archaeological ontologies, the follow- 
ing discussion of theoretical models is presented in 
two parts: ecological space and culturally constructed 
social and ideological landscapes. Selected aspects of 
these models are used to frame the subsequent cul- 
ture-historical narratives. Although this mode of pres- 
entation remains trapped in the Nature/Culture dual- 
ism, each model and narrative is considered a partial 
reading, using one language at a time, launched from 
entry points that activate different conceptual domains 
relevant to human practices in the landscape. 

ECOLOGICAL SPACE 

From the perspective of the humans as adaptive beings 
ontology, the landscape is an ecological space with 
varying distributions of resources from which foragers 
must make rational selections in order to reproduce or 
meet social obligations. Interaction between popula- 
tions of organisms inhabiting the same ecological 
community and engaged in foraging for similar 
resources (niche overlap) leads ecologists towards 
competition theory. Two main types of competition 
have been identified: exploitation and interference 
competition. In exploitation competition, foraging by 
one organism reduces the quantity of a resource need- 
ed by another organism. In interference competition, 
one organism reduces the ability of another to make 
use of a common resource, through mechanisms such 
as territoriality (Carothers and Jaksic 1984; Keddy 
1989). Although the first type is the most traditional 
view of competition, the second has become increas- 
ingly significant to researchers and seems more rele- 
vant for discussing human practice in the environment, 
so interference competition will be the focus here. 
Another approach to niche overlap— mutualism— has 



been less theorized in ecology (perhaps for ideological 
reasons,^ ^ Keddy 1989), but may have considerable 
relevance for human practice (Spielmann 1986). 
Competition theory has been marked by the extensive 
use of mathematical models. Most of these are con- 
cerned with the relationship between resource avail- 
ability and population dynamics in situations of niche 
overlap. The following discussion will not be con- 
cerned with this quantitative dimension and popula- 
tion dynamics will play little role in the discussion. 
Much of the focus will be on spatial dynamics, since 
this has the most visible archaeological consequences. 

The central element in competitive or mutual 
relations concerns how organisms partition 
resources and habitats. Partitioning can be accom- 
plished by scheduling the use of foraging sites at dif- 
ferent points in time, by dispersing foraging sites in 
space, or by shifts in foraging behavior towards spe- 
cialization on different resources. Preventing tempo- 
ral overlap at foraging sites can minimize the poten- 
tial for direct conflict in interference competition, 
such as fighting over the best fishing or sealing loca- 
tions, stealing food etc. Temporal partitioning of the 
same foraging sites may be accomplished by the 
potential competitors selecting resource types that 
are available at different times, or by exploiting con- 
tinually renewing resources at different times. An 
effective temporal partitioning of activity may not 
require or result in the partitioning of other variables, 
such as habitat space or particular food resources 
(Carothers and Jaksic 1984:405-406). Some highly 
desirable resources, however, may be available only 
for short time frames (e.g., seasonally), decreasing 
the likelihood that temporal partitioning would be an 
effective means of limiting competition. 

Partitioning of space is perhaps the most frequent 
means of preventing direct competition. In patchy 



' ' "Competition" is a category in need of deconstruction. Its conceptual privileging relative to other relational possibilities- 
such as mutualism— may reflect its metaphorical role in the intertextual relations between biological and sociopolitical dis- 
course (Keddy 1989:160-162). Keene (1983) discusses the sociopolitical baggage of evolutionary ecology in archaeology. 



326 



CHAPTER 14 



environments where resources are dispersed, dispersal 
of foraging sites in space minimizes competition. Of 
course, patches may differ markedly in their quality of 
resources such that competition may arise from forag- 
ing decisions to prioritize high quality patches. The 
likelihood of competition increases if such resources 
are also temporally limited in availability. For example, 
seasonally migrating harp seals have, in a general 
sense, a patchy distribution. But they may have higher 
accessibility to human foragers in certain predictable 
places, such as narrow inlets and passages that restrict 
and funnel herd movements. Such places may become 
the focus of competition. 

One of the central (and traditional) issues in spa- 
tial partitioning is territoriality. As humans use such a 
wide range of interaction mechanisms it is very sim- 
plistic to categorize behavior as either territorial or 
non-territorial (Dyson-Hudson and Smith 1978). One 
might say there is a continuum of territorial behaviour 
from highly territorial competitive exclusion, to coop- 
erative interaction as non-territorial behaviour. Dyson- 
Hudson and Smith (1978) regard territoriality as a 
response to interaction situations in which resources 
are dense and predictable. The articulation of these 
two properties promote territoriality by setting condi- 
tions of economic defendability. Kelly's (1 995) discus- 
sion of territoriality among foragers builds largely 
upon their observations. Although he gives lengthy 
consideration to the social mechanisms involved a 
group's extending permission to others to use their 
territories (Kelly 1995:181-189), his arguments turn 
on the centrality of resources and demography, seen in 
terms of cost-benefit analysis: "...for any given case we 
should be able to translate the interplay between envi- 
ronmental and population variables into their signifi- 
cance in terms of intragroup variance and intergroup 
correlation, and from these predict the specific form of 



land tenure" (Kelly 1994:201). Although Kelly is sensi- 
tive to the social mechanisms involved in regulating 
access to the landscape, his view of "land tenure" is 
premised on a reductionist attempt to predict social 
relations from ecological relations (Ingold [1986:130- 
1 33] provides an alternative conceptualization of these 
terms, see below). It should be noted, however, that 
most of Kelly's ethnographic examples pertain to 
boundary processes between social units within single 
ethnic/linguistic units, rather than across such units. 

To this point the discussion has focused on the 
properties of available resources, but variations in the 
behavioral properties of the competitors must also be 
considered. Competitors may exhibit varying techno- 
logical capacities for resource extraction or differences 
in organizational characteristics, such as labor mobi- 
lization or social differentiation. These abilities may 
change over time, resulting in either shifts of compet- 
itive advantages/disadvantages, or the development of 
coexistence. In the ecological literature, the relative 
degree of specialization/generalization in resource 
exploitation (niche breadth) is a frequently used 
dimension of variation.^ ^ In some situations both 
competitors may specialize, thereby minimizing niche 
overlap and potential competition. If two populations 
specialize on different resources we might expect the 
development of relatively weak territoriality, or per- 
haps even reciprocal resource exchange in a mutualis- 
tic relation between the two populations (cf., 
Spielmann 1986). In other situations one competitor 
may shift to more generalist strategies, exploiting the 
resource patches not used by the specialist. 
Depending on the degree of niche overlap, this could 
be an unstable coexistence marked by some degree of 
territoriality. The specialists might be expected to 
invest in defending their resources since they have less 
alternative resource flexibility than generalists and 



'° How such a distinction could actually be measured empirically among human foragers is a serious problem, particularly 
in archaeological cases for which we lack zooarchaeological data, and draw subsistence inferences primarily from site loca- 
tion, such as in the Pre-Dorset/Maritime Archaic context. 



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327 



thus much to lose. The generalists would be unlikely to 
incur defence costs for gaining only a small increase in 
resource variety unless the niche overlap with the spe- 
cialist included resources that were seasonally critical 
for the generalist. In all these cases, as long as the 
interaction effects are fairly equal for both parties, the 
competition could be termed symmetric (Keddy 
1989:1 5-16). 

But an inability to shift niche breadth or foraging 
characteristics may militate against coexistence, lead- 
ing to exclusion of one of the competitors. Marked 
organizational differences between populations raise 
the possibility of competitive dominance, or asymmet- 
ric competition (Keddy 1 989: 1 6). Asymmetric relations 
might involve avoidance strategies on the part of sub- 
ordinate populations, such as: a) refuging behavior, 
with movement to poorer quality habitats or favored 
retreat sites, perhaps linked with an increase in spe- 
cialization, b) a "floating-nomadic" existence, moving 
through the interstices between the favoured locations 
of the dominant population, perhaps involving a shift 
to more generalist strategies, or c) shifts in activity 
times, such as the subordinate exploiting a dominant's 
favoured resource during a non-optimal period 
(Carothers and Jaksic 1984:405; Schoener 1974b; 
Smith 1978; the latter two cited in Carothers and 
Jaksic 1984:405). 

Dominance patterns may also be related to the 
temporal dimension of niche relations. Yodzis 
(1 978:25) discusses spatial pre-emption resulting from 
the history of colonization sequences. It is generally 
assumed that already established organisms have a 
competitive advantage over new colonizers, resulting 
in what Yodzis (1 978:26) calls founder-controlled com- 
munities. In such communities, colonization by new 
organisms may involve a "reshuffling" of species 
among patches, a rearrangement structured by 
founder-dominance, which results in re-equilibration. 
In some cases, however, repeated colonization events 
may produce what Yodzis (1978:49) terms "quasi- 
cycles": a series of colonizations without equilibrium. 



This discussion is important in that it draws attention 
to the problem of historical contingency in competitive 
relations and highlights the static nature of the stan- 
dard equilibrium models. 

Another dimension that may lead away from sim- 
ple equilibrium models is temporal variation in the 
environment, which may be linked to variable compe- 
tition over time (Wiens 1 977). In general, there should 
be limited competition when resources are abundant 
and maximal competition at resource lows. In environ- 
ments marked by strong spatial variations in resource 
availability, periodic resource minimums will lead to 
greater competition for the limited high quality 
resource patches or extraction locales. Although for 
modelling purposes temporal variation in resource 
availability has often been depicted using shifting 
equilibrium models, cycling between high and low 
abundance, more recent non-linear systems ecology 
draws in the abrupt and chaotic aspects of environ- 
mental change. This puts a premium on the historical- 
ly contingent in Nature/Culture relations. 

For the purposes of further discussion related to 
the specifics of the Maritime Archaic/Pre-Dorset social 
boundary issue, three aspects of spatial partitioning 
are extracted for particular attention. First, "territorial- 
ity," involving either: a) symmetric relations or mutual- 
ism, or b) asymmetric relations marked by the relega- 
tion of one group to less favored patches or refuging 
behaviour. Second, "floating" strategies, involving 
inter-patch mobility through cultural interstices to 
avoid contact. Third, "cycling," involving repeated col- 
onization events on varying time scales within regions, 
either as a partial avoidance strategy or simply failure 
to colonize permanently. 

CONSTRUCTED SOCIAL AND 
IDEOLOGICAL LANDSCAPES 

From the perspective of the humans as intrinsically cul- 
tural beings ontology, space is not a neutral resource 
foraging arena, but a culturally constructed landscape 
imbued with social and ideological meanings. Instead 



328 



CHAPTER 14 



of locations or sites that are the settings or physical 
frames for activities— simply utilized spaces— land- 
scapes are actively constructed and experienced by 
minds and bodies. Natural spaces become cultural 
landscapes by being enveloped in conceptual grids 
and a history of practices as well as through the con- 
struction of built environments that physically and 
conceptually act back upon the humans who experi- 
ence these places. The central point is that in the 
course of social practice, agents "draw on their set- 
tings" as resources for action and, in turn, that places 
constitute agents as social actors (Giddens 1979:206; 
Tilley 1994: 16,19-20, 23). The "existential spaces" in 
which agents act are not static, but are continually pro- 
duced and reproduced through practices involving 
movement through the landscape (Tilley 1 994: 1 6-17). 
Thus, the biographies and identities of individuals and 
groups are constructed in relation to places and in the 
course of movement along the paths that tie places 
into meaningful networks, and these relations between 
place, people and movement are central to the con- 
struction of cultural memory (Tilley 1994:27-28). The 
mutual structuration of practices and networks of 
places gives a spatial dimension to cultural knowledge 
and power relations (Hood 1988). 

Some of the best examples of this approach 
applied to the study of hunter-gatherers come from 
Australia (for other examples see Bender 1 993; Hirsch 
and O'Hanlon 1995; P.Jordan 2003; Tilley 1994; Ucko 
and Layton 1999). Morphy's (1995) discussion of the 
Yolngu makes clear the relationship between land- 
scape, the ancestral past and social reproduction. All 
parts of the Yolngu landscape are imbued with the 
actions of ancestral beings such that the landscape 
consists of ancestral tracks and mythological coordi- 
nates anchored to specific places. The ancestral past 
becomes part of subjective experience as the individ- 
ual moves through and experiences the totemically 
coded landscape. Kinship relations (moieties and 
clans) are mapped onto the landscape and thus inte- 
grated with the ancestral grid, and rituals relate 



groups and places in relation to ancestral tracks. Thus, 
a set of long-term structures encoded in the landscape 
constitute a framework for active social structuration 
processes: 

The ancestral past is continuously re-cre- 
ated by the sedimenting of past and present 
experiences and political outcomes on pre- 
existing loci. ..In reality places are continually 
being reformed into new sets. New divisions 
of the landscape are made as clans die out 
and new ones emerge. ..Thus the articulation 
of social groups with the landscape is always 
changing, but the mythic screen that covers 
the landscape makes the relationship appear 
unchanging. ..The acting out of individual 
lives ultimately produces the cumulative 
changes which force the ancestral screen to 
adjust in order to mirror present circum- 
stances. ..The ancestral past, though changed 
and reproduced through present human 
action, is absorbed as a precedent for future 
action (Morphy 1995:204-205). 
The aforementioned perspectives provide impor- 
tant analogies for thinking about hunter-gatherer 
action in the landscape. Yet, as discussed previously, 
they present a rather one-sided cultural constructionist 
view that generally ignores resource extraction prac- 
tices or treats them as epiphenomenal to meaning. The 
consequence is an extremely idealist view of human 
relationships with the landscape in which Nature is 
viewed primarily as a source of raw materials for cul- 
tural acts of imagination (Ingold 1996:150). But the 
landscape needs to be both good to think and a source 
of raw materials for cultural acts of survival. 

If we take more seriously the mix of constraints 
and opportunities afforded by the natural world and 
different types of mobility systems, then we might 
identify some general patterns or at least some gener- 
al consequences for cultural construction of the land- 
scape. For example, there is surely a difference in land- 
scape construction practices between populations that 



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329 



have been established in an area for many generations 
and those which are initially colonizing an area. As in 
the Yolgnu example, established populations operate 
within a pre-existing network of places and paths that 
are implicated deeply in the reproduction of social 
relations and cultural memory. The landscape is a 
long-term structure that is both the product and prece- 
dent of action. Colonizers enter new landscapes for 
which there is no pre-existing cognitive map, no pre- 
cise knowledge of resource distributions, no coded 
network of known places or paths to relate to. They 
must act without structural precedents, except insofar 
as they can extend analogies from previous experi- 
ences elsewhere. Consequently, besides engaging in 
flexible resource-searching and knowledge-gathering 
practices, colonists must actively construct a land- 
scape by building up an archive of experiences with 
places and paths. These differing implications for 
social action in landscapes have obvious relevance for 
the Maritime Archaic/Pre-Dorset situation. 

Another argument relevant to a critique of the 
constructionist privileging of Culture is Ingold's 
(1 986: 1 30ff.) discussion of the concepts of tenure and 
territoriality, which stand in a dialectical relation that 
illustrates what is involved in working with the 
Nature/Culture dualism. Ingold (1986:131, 136-137) 
considers tenure to be the schema and practices 
through which the landscape is appropriated, claims 
are made on resources and individuals are constituted 
as agents. Tenure binds groups into historical relation- 
ships with landscapes, which are reproduced as long- 
term structures. Hunter-gatherer tenure is a relation- 
ship with places and paths through the landscape— a 
dispersed network— not a partitioning of space into 
two-dimensionally bounded patches, which is the 
usual thinking with "territoriality." For Ingold (1986: 
1 30-1 31, 136, 141-145, 156-157), territoriality \s x.h& 
schema and practices used in appropriating resources 
and for communicating about the locations of persons 
and resources. Although it does involve divisions of 
the landscape, it is not about maintaining exclusive 



access to resources, but is a set of practices aimed at 
minimizing interference in resource extraction or the 
disturbance of sacred sites. Unlike the structural conti- 
nuity of tenure over time, however, territoriality is sit- 
uationally contingent since different modes of territo- 
riality are implemented in response to changes in envi- 
ronmental (and social) contexts. To summarize: 
"...tenure engages nature in a system of social rela- 
tions, territoriality engages society in a system of nat- 
ural relations" (Ingold 1986:136). 

Such a brief summary does not do complete jus- 
tice to Ingold's ideas, but in conjunction with the pre- 
vious discussion it outlines a framework that can be 
used to stimulate thinking regarding questions of 
landscape and social boundaries in Labrador. Details 
of the archaeological context for Maritime Archaic/Pre- 
Dorset relations are presented in the next section, 
which is followed by an interpretative integration of 
the archaeological context with the threads cast out in 
the theoretical sections. 

BACK TO THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL 
CONTEXT 

We know that the Maritime Archaic and Pre-Dorset 
shared the north-central Labrador coast for several 
hundred years and preliminary interpretations have 
pointed to spatial partitioning as one of the mecha- 
nisms by which that coexistence was sustained. The 
preceding theoretical discussion established frame- 
works for understanding that coexistence from differ- 
ent entry points to human use of the landscape. Now, 
the empirical aspects of Maritime Archaic and Pre- 
Dorset settlement need to be considered in greater 
depth. The foraging characteristics of the two cul- 
tures are difficult to ascertain, since we completely 
lack archaeozoological material from Pre-Dorset sites 
and that from the Maritime Archaic consists mostly of 
calcined bone fragments. Subsistence-settlement 
inferences are therefore drawn primarily from site 
locations, structural information and lithic assem- 
blage variation. 



330 



CHAPTER 1 4 




229/ Distribution of Late Maritime Arclnaic and Pre-Dorset Settlement in the Nain Region. Original map © 2004 produced 
under licence from Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, with permission of Natural Resources Canada. 



Broad similarities in site location have led to both 
cultures being characterized as having "interior-mar- 
itime" settlement systems, which involved spring to fall 
land-use ranging across the inner and outer coastal 
islands and inner bays for sea mammal hunting, fish- 
ing and caribou hunting, and winter occupation of the 
inner bays or near-interior based on caribou hunting 
and fishing (Cox 1978:102; Fitzhugh 1978:83-84). As 
of yet, however, none of the inner bay sites known for 
either culture provide convincing evidence for winter 
occupation. The discussions of the Late Maritime 
Archaic site Attu's Bight in Chapter 12 and the Pre- 



Dorset site Attu's Point in Chapter 1 3, both inner bay 
localities, highlighted the difficulties of drawing sea- 
sonal inferences. Nonetheless, the settlement data are 
sufficient to make the case that there was potential for 
resource competition between the two cultures. On the 
other hand, the settlement typology is static and insen- 
sitive to possible organizational changes over time. As 
will be discussed further below, Early/Middle Maritime 
Archaic settlement patterns may have differed from 
those of the Late Maritime Archaic. For Pre-Dorset, the 
paucity of radiocarbon dates makes it impossible to 
track temporal shifts in the configuration of their set- 



THE STRUCTURATION OF MARITIME ARCHAIC/PRE-DORSET 
SOCIAL BOUNDARIES IN LABRADOR 



331 



tiement patterns, although regional variations can be 
considered. The following pages outline the settlement 
pattern data on a region-by-region basis. 

The Nain Region 

Figure 229 depicts the distribution of Late Maritime 
Archaic and Pre-Dorset sites in the Nain region.^ ^ One 
concentration of Pre-Dorset sites is found in the outer 
island area. Most of these outer coast sites are small, 
consisting of lithic scatters with and without traces of 
dwelling structures. On Natsutuk Island, in the outer 
island fringe, the September Harbour-1 site is a rela- 
tively large locality with repeated occupations, 
although few clear structures (Fitzhugh 1976a:136; 
Fitzhugh, personal communication). On Dog Island, 
Dog-Bight L-5, dated 3810±75 B.P., contains three 
closely spaced axial structures, but very few lithics 
(Cox 1978:99, 101; Fitzhugh 1976:130-133). Finally, 
one of the few late Pre-Dorset sites in the Nain region 
is Nukasusutok-2 (Chapter 4), which consists of two 
substantially built axial structures, one of which is 
dated 3315±85 B.P. (3055±85 with ^^C/'^^C correc- 
tion; Cox 1978:99, 101; Fitzhugh 2002). 

The other concentration of Pre-Dorset sites is 
found along Port Manvers Run, the long passage west 
of South Aulatsivik Island. The Run can be used as a 
protected "inside" travel route to avoid rougher outer 
coast waters. In spring and fall, migrating harp seal 
herds may be funnelled through the Run and during 
the winter strong tidal currents maintain a polynya at 
the "Second Rattle" that can be used for open water 
sealing. Caribou of the Kingurutik and Kiglapait 
Mountain herds may be accessed from the Run and 
small herds may move across the Run onto South 



Aulatsivik Island during the winter. Three large Pre- 
Dorset sites with multiple localities indicative of fre- 
quent re-occupation are found on or near the Run. At 
the seaward end of the Run, Thalia Point contains sev- 
eral localities, one dated 3660±140 B.P., which are 
marked by a high frequency of burins and burin spalls 
(Fitzhugh 1 976b:l 06-1 07). About one third of the way 
southward along the Run is Approach Point-2, located 
adjacent to the polynya. The site consists of at least a 
dozen localities, some with ambiguous structural 
remains, two of which have fairly substantial accumu- 
lations of tools. The location is favorable for spring 
and fall sealing as well as winter open water sealing in 
the polynya. Oddly enough, harpoon endblades are 
rare in the surface material; a considerable amount of 
slate debitage is present (Smithsonian field notes, 
1980). The third site is Attu's Point on Webb Bay, 
slightly west of the entrance to Port Manvers Run. As 
outlined in Chapter 1 3, Attu's Point contains over 20 
small localities, including several dwelling structures, 
two of which are dated 3750±60 B.P. and 3790±70 
B.P.. The lithic assemblage is marked by a fairly high 
frequency of endblades, abundant slate materials and 
a paucity of scrapers. Its location and assemblage 
characteristics suggest a focus on spring and fall seal 
hunting at a nearby narrow channel. Most of the other 
sites along the Run are small, with single or two or 
three localities. Two of these. Port Manvers Run-1 and 
Double Island Cove-1 (the latter with dates of 3640±70 
B.P. and 3320±70 B.P.), were described in Chapter 12. 

To summarize, there are two frequently re-used 
"central places" on the outer coast, at September 
Harbour and Thalia Point. A third central place is found 
at an inner bay location, Attu's Point, while a fourth, 



' " The site distribution information is derived from the files of the Cultural Heritage Division, Government of Newfoundland 
and Labrador. Several caveats must be noted regarding these data. (1) The distribution data are most reliable for the Nain 
and Sagiek Bay regions, since these areas have been subjected to the most intensive and long-term survey programs. (2) 
Generally speaking, the inner bay areas have not been surveyed as extensively as the outer coastal regions. (3) There are 
problems in separating Late Maritime Archaic sites from Early and Middle period sites, since chronological information has 
not been entered systematically in the site files. Site selection was based on preliminary reports, personal experience, archae- 
ological oral history, and elevation above sea level. 



332 



CHAPTER 1 4 



Aunospheht diu from Reimer el al i^fX^JjinxCal v3 HI Rroiik R.imvey l2fX)5), ^.iibr S >d ! 2 |iriih iisp|i-hrtiii| 



Attu's Bight 408()±1()()BP 



Attu's Bight 4080±90BP 



Dog Bight L5 3810±75BP 
Attu's Point 379()±7()BP 
Attu's Point 3750±60BP 
Quest Cove- 1 376()±9()BP 
ThaHaPoint-2 366()±14()B^ 
Double Is. Cove 364()±70BP 
Double Is. Cove 332()±70BP 
Nukasusutol<-2 3055±85BP 

1 1 1 1 1 1 i 




4000CalBC 3000CalBC 2000CalBC 

Calibrated date 



lOOOCalBC 



230/ Calibrated radiocarbon date probability distributions for Late Maritime Archaic 
and Pre-Dorset sites in the Nain region. From OxCal 3. 1 0. 



Approach Point, lies in an intermediate position on 
Port IVIanvers Run. As a tentative proposal for a "local" 
settlement pattern within the Nain region, one might 
treat the Thalia Point, Port Manvers Run, Webb Bay area 
as a north-south linear settlement system. The abun- 
dance of Pre-Dorset sites along this stretch suggests 
the Run was an important "highway" between the outer 
coast and the inner bay zone. Winter settlement might 
be suggested at the northern seaward end near Thalia 
Point, which is close to the sina, and at Approach 
Point, near the Second Rattle polynya. In spring, Pre- 
Dorset people may have shifted to the southern anchor 
of the system at Attu's Point, exploiting seals during 
and after breakup, hunting caribou moving back to the 
mainland from South Aulatsivik Island and replenish- 
ing wood supplies. Summer might see a shift back to 
the outer coast, then another return to Webb Bay in the 
fall for wildfowl, seals, fish, caribou and wood sup- 
plies. The concentration of Pre-Dorset sites in the 
outer islands might be linked to a similar outer 
coast/inner bay movement, perhaps through the area 
south of South Aulatsivik Island and west towards Nain 



Bay, but multi-season occupa- 
tion of the outer island region is 
also a possibility. 

Although Early and Middle 
Maritime Archaic sites are abun- 
dant in the Nain region, Late 
period Rattler's Bight Phase 
sites are extremely rare. The 
only substantial locality is the 
Attu's Bight site on Webb Bay 
near the entrance to Port 
Manvers Run, only 1.8 km east 
of the Pre-Dorset central place 
at Attu's Point (Chapter 12). 
Although the Maritime Archaic 
site is extensive, the low fre- 
quency of tools and paucity of 
features suggest it was used as 
a short term transit camp for movements north and 
south along Port Manvers Run. A small Rattlers Bight 
locality is located on the outer coast at Ford Harbour 
(Paul Island), where there is also a trace of Pre-Dorset 
activity. The other late Maritime Archaic site relevant to 
the discussion is located south of the Nain region, 
slightly inland up the Kogaluk River, which empties 
into Voisey's Bay. This locality, Pukutakan Emish- 
shipu-2, has not been investigated in detail, but 
appears to be a camp on a portage route into the inte- 
rior (Labreche et al 1 997:1 35). This site suggests that 
in addition to the documented Maritime Archaic move- 
ments south-north along the coast related to Ramah 
chert procurement there was also an east-west coast- 
interior axis. Recent research in the interior at Lake 
Kamistastin indicates that Maritime Archaic activity in 
the interior may have begun as early as 7000 B.P., with 
possible traces of activity ca. 5000 B.P. (Loring 1999); 
this parallels finds from Lake Mushuau Nipi (Indian 
House Lake, Samson 1978) 

Table 95 summarizes the radiocarbon dates for 
Pre-Dorset and Maritime Archaic sites in the Nain 



region and Figure 230 presents their calibrated BC 



THE STRUCTURATION OF MARITIME ARCHAIC/PRE-DORSET 
SOCIAL BOUNDARIES IN LABRADOR 



333 



Table 95. Radiocarbon Dates for Pre-Dorset and Late Maritime Archaic Sites in the Main Region. 



SITE (CULTURE) 


DATE (B.P.) 


LAB NO. 16 Calibrated BC 
OxCal 3.10 


REFERENCE 


Attu's Bight L-3/6 (MA) 


4080±100 


Beta-571 26 


2860-2490 


Chapter 1 2 


Attu's Bight L-3/6 (MA) 


4080±90 


Beta-71477 


2860-2490 


Chapter 1 2 


Attu's Point L-1 (PD) 


3750±60'' 


Beta-7761 1 


2280-2030 


Chapter 1 3 


Attu's Point L-5 (PD) 


3790±70' 


Beta-77612 


2350-2050 


Chapter 1 3 


Structure 1 (PD) 
Double Island Cove L-1 


3640±70 


Beta-571 25 


2140-1910 


Chapter 1 2 


Structure 2 (PD) 
Double Island Cove L-1 


3320±70' 


Beta-71476 


1690-1 520 


Chapter 1 2 


Dog Bight L-5 (PD) 


3810±75 


SI-2521 


2440-21 30 


Fitzhugh 1 976a: 1 30-1 33; 
Cox 1978:99 


Quest Cove-1 (PD) 


3760+90 


SI-4826 


2340-2030 


Clark and Fitzhugh 
1990:301 


Thalia Point-2-Al 9 (PD) 


3660±140 


CSC-1264 


2280-1 780 


Fitzhugh 1976b:107; 
Cox 1978:99 


Nukasusutok-2 (PD) 


3055±85(F) 


SI-2988 


1430-1210 


Cox 1978:99 


* '-^C corrected 

(F) burned fat sample, 331 5±85 prior to 


'■^C correction 







probability distributions. At one sigma there is no over- 
lap between the Maritime Archaic dates from Attu's 
Bight and the Pre-Dorset sites. A closer look at the 
archaeological contexts of the Attu's Bight and Attu's 
Point dates at least opens up the possibility of chrono- 
logical overlap, although it is important not to fall prey 
to wishful thinking. At L3/6 of the Attu's Bight Maritime 
Archaic site there was a faint trace of an occupation 
layer 20 cm above, and therefore possibly later than, 
the dated 4000 B.P. component, although deflation and 
redeposition processes in the sand matrix have to be 
taken into account. At the Pre-Dorset site Attu's Point, 
the two 3700 B.P. dates are both from structures on the 
lowest 10 m beach level, while additional features are 
found up to and including the uppermost 12 m beach, 
suggesting that some of these features could be earli- 
er than the radiocarbon dated loci. Additionally, the 
uppermost 12 m beach of the Pre-Dorset site had sur- 



face finds of a Late Maritime Archaic stemmed point 
and a possible Maritime Archaic biface. Although these 
implements might hint at some form of cultural con- 
tacts, they could also be traces of an earlier Maritime 
Archaic occupation or items Pre-Dorset people scav- 
enged from a nearby Maritime Archaic site. In any 
event, the stratigraphic factors suggest that chronolog- 
ical overlap between the two sites cannot be ruled out. 
If so, we would have two "central places" within a 1.8 
km distance of each other. Overall, however, the evi- 
dence for contemporaneity is thin. 

Although the discussion of Pre-Dorset settlement 
patterns assumed a year-round presence in the Main 
region, there is no reason to suggest that the sparse 
evidence for Late Maritime Archaic occupation should 
be interpreted similarly. It is quite conceivable that the 
Maritime Archaic sites Attu's Bight and Ford Harbour 
may represent only seasonal forays into the Main area 



334 



CHAPTER 14 




23 1/ Distribution of Pre-Dorset sites in the OI<al< region. Original map © 2004 produced under licence from Her Majesty the 
Queen in Right of Canada, with permission of Natural Resources Canada. 



from Maritime Archaic bases further south. Indeed, the 
overall distribution of sites in Figure 229 is curious, 
with the density of Pre-Dorset locales dropping off 
markedly south of Ford Harbour. The pattern is sug- 
gestive of a boundary effect, with an area of limited 
settlement between the Pre-Dorset "core area" in the 
northern part of the Main district and a possible area 
of Maritime Archaic dominance in Voisey's Bay and 
points south. Furthermore, given the currently limited 
evidence for Maritime Archaic activity in the Main 



region during the period 5000-4000 B.P., it is possible 
the region might have been abandoned by the 
Maritime Archaic as a year-round settlement area cen- 
turies prior to the Pre-Dorset colonization (see below). 

The Okak Region 

The Okak region has not been surveyed as intensively 
as the Main area, but the site distribution (Figure 231) 
shows a broadly similar pattern. Pre-Dorset sites are 
rare on the outermost islands, but are frequent on the 



THE STRUCTURATION OF MARITIME ARCHAIC/PRE-DORSET 
SOCIAL BOUNDARIES IN LABRADOR 



335 



RAMAH BAY 



^ SAGLEK BAY 



• Pre-Dorset site 

* Maritime Arcliaic site 
H Ramah chert sources 



10 
I I I 

km 




St. John's Harbour 



,.5r- Nulliak Cove 



Jerusalem Harbour 



HEBRON FJORD 



a 



Harp Isthmus 



Nuvotanaluk 



^ NAPAKTOK BAY 



eg 




Cape Mugford 



232/ Distribution of Late Maritime Archaic and Pre-Dorset sites in the Hebron Fjord, Saglel< Bay and Ramah Bay regions. 
Original map © 2004 produced under licence from Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, with permission of Natural 
Resources Canada. 



inner islands and well represented at inner Okak Bay 
(Cox 1976, 1978). Frequently re-occupied "central 
places" are found on the inner islands at 
Iglusuaktalialuk (Cox 1 977:1 30) and Nuasornak-2 (Cox 
1988, 2003). At Nuasornak there are up to 40 struc- 
tures that chronologically span most of the Pre-Dorset 
to Groswater sequence. A small inner island Pre-Dorset 
component at Okak-6 was dated 3475±75 B.P. (Cox 
1977:223, 1978:99). 

Another relatively large and repeatedly used local- 
ity is situated in the inner bay region at Sipukat Bay-1 



(Cox 1976:229-237). In contrast to the outer coast 
sites, Sipukat Bay contained few triangular endblades 
but had a substantial slate component, including 
adzes and celts; one of the adzes appears to be a re- 
worked Maritime Archaic gouge (Cox 1977:235). As at 
Attu's Point in the Main region, the frequency of 
ground slate tools suggest this inner bay location was 
used to replenish wood supplies or butcher frozen 
meat. The lack of endblades, however, contrasts 
strongly with the Attu's Point assemblages. Overall, 
like the Nain region, there is a hint of functional differ- 



336 



CHAPTER 14 



ences between inner bay and coastal localities. Also 
similar to the Nain region is a possible pattern of 
repeatedly used central places at both coastal and 
inner bay locations, which may have been linked by 
seasonal settlement mobility. Another important vari- 
able in the geographical positioning and assemblage 
content of Pre-Dorset sites in the Okak area is the pres- 
ence of their preferred chert sources in the Cape 
Mugford area at the northern edge of the Okak region 
(Cramly 1978; Lazenby 1980). 

Like the Nain region, there is evidence for Early 
and Middle Maritime Archaic sites at Okak (Cox 1 977; 
Fitzhugh 1978), but few signs of Late Maritime 
Archaic activity. There are no definitive sites, but a 
diagnostic Maritime Archaic incised sandstone plum- 
met was found on an upper beach terrace at the Pre- 
Dorset site Nuasornak-2, an occurrence that Cox 
(1988:3) interprets as evidence for culture contact. 
Otherwise, Pre-Dorset material is superimposed upon 
Maritime Archaic material at the inner island Okak-2 
site (Cox 1977:184-195; Fitzhugh 1978:77), but the 
Maritime Archaic component is dated 4765±85 B.P. 
and 4905±80 B.P., a millennium earlier than the Pre- 
Dorset colonization. Consequently, as with the Nain 
region, the Maritime Archaic may have abandoned 
year round settlement of the Okak area prior to Pre- 
Dorset colonization. 

The Hebron Fjord Region 

Moving north of the tree line (Napaktok Bay) to the 
Hebron region, we encounter a key area for the formu- 
lation of Fitzhugh's enclave model. But it is also an 
area in which Smithsonian field surveys have mostly 
been limited to the outer fjord. Although the author 
conducted a brief reconnaissance deep inside Hebron 
Fjord in 1997 (Hood 1998a), most of the mid-inner 
fjord area must be regarded as archaeologically 
unknown and the overall site distribution (Figure 232) 
as unrepresentative. 

Be that as it may, Pre-Dorset and Maritime Archaic 
settlement in the Hebron region is concentrated in two 



central places. Harp Isthmus on the south side of 
Hebron Fjord has several Pre-Dorset localities, includ- 
ing over 30 visible structures (Fitzhugh 1984:23), 
while minor traces of Maritime Archaic occur nearby. 
North of Hebron, Nulliak Cove-1 is a repeatedly occu- 
pied Late Maritime Archaic site with the remains of 27 
longhouses and four burial mounds. The site is 
believed to have been used as a seasonal staging area 
for expeditions to the Ramah chert sources further 
north. Radiocarbon dates for Nulliak range from 4300- 
3500 B.P. (Fitzhugh 1981, 1984, 1985a). A Pre-Dorset 
component is also present. Localities of both cultures 
are found at Jerusalem Harbour, between Hebron and 
Nulliak. The area between Jerusalem Harbour and Harp 
Isthmus lacks distinct sites of both cultures, although 
minor surface indications are present. It is possible, 
however, that traces of Maritime Archaic and Pre- 
Dorset occupation are hidden under Inuit and 
Moravian settlement accumulations at the abandoned 
Hebron mission, a circumstance that may create an 
impression of greater spatial partitioning than was 
actually the case. Two small Pre-Dorset components 
are situated about 40 km inside Hebron fjord, not far 
from a tunnel valley and lake which lead deep into the 
interior. One of these, Nuvotanaluk-1 , contains one or 
two Pre-Dorset dwelling structures and associated lith- 
ic scatters located on the same beach ridge as, and 
only 20 m distant from, a 90 m long Ramah chert flake 
scatter. The latter did not contain clearly diagnostic 
tools, but a probable flake point fragment and some 
slate flakes, along with the linear configuration of the 
scatter, suggest a Late Maritime Archaic affiliation. The 
other site, Siugakuluk-2, contained traces of a Pre- 
Dorset dwelling along with Early Pre-Dorset tools and a 
diagnostic Intermediate Indian Saunders Complex 
side-notched biface and a possible Intermediate Indian 
convex based biface (Hood 1 998a). 

As noted by Fitzhugh (1984), the concentration of 
Pre-Dorset and Maritime Archaic settlement in two 
outer coast "enclaves" at Harp Isthmus and Nulliak 
Cove, separated by about 25 km, gives the impression 



THE STRUCTURATION OF MARITIME ARCHAIC/PRE-DORSET 
SOCIAL BOUNDARIES IN LABRADOR 



337 



of micro-territoriality within the overall distributions of 
the two cultures. The range of radiocarbon dates from 
Nulliak suggest the site was used prior to the Pre- 
Dorset colonization as well as during most of the peri- 
od of Early Pre-Dorset occupation of northern 
Labrador. Thus, Nulliak was a well-established place 
that Pre-Dorset newcomers would have to relate to. On 
the other hand, the existence of sites with remains 
from both cultures, such as at Jerusalem Harbour and 
Nuvotanaluk, raises questions about the territorial 
model. Both cultures were inclined to use at least some 
of the same sites and probably for the same purposes. 
Even if these sites were radiocarbon dated, however, 
contemporaneity or lack thereof could not be estab- 
lished given the range of error inherent in current dat- 
ing techniques. 

It is important to point out that in the Hebron area 
the Late Maritime Archaic people were operating near 
their ecological limit and at the extreme northern end 
of their social network. Although they were able to 
make effective use of the area north of the tree line, 
they apparently did so as seasonal visitors rather than 
as year-round residents. This limitation has important 
consequences for their relations with the Pre-Dorset 
people who, we assume, eventually became year-round 
inhabitants of the region. 

Sagiek Bay to Ramah Bay 

Moving further north, Sagiek Bay is probably the best 
surveyed portion of northern Labrador besides the 
Main region, thanks to several years of survey by Tuck 
(1975), Smithsonian researchers (Fitzhugh 1980) and 
Thomson (1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 
1989). Sagiek contains many Pre-Dorset localities but 
only a few definite Late Maritime Archaic sites (Figure 
232). Nonetheless, there is at least a hint of territorial 
enclaves here as well. A major concentration of Pre- 
Dorset activity at St. John's Harbour on the south side 
of Sagiek may represent a central place similar to Harp 
Isthmus at Hebron. One locality has seven dwelling 
structures while a larger site nearby extends for 300 m 



along a terrace. A couple of Maritime Archaic stemmed 
point fragments were also collected from these locali- 
ties (Thomson 1 982:1 6, 1 986:1 9). On the north side of 
Sagiek Bay, Sagiek Site A (Tuck 1975:76-81) contains 
the remains of a Maritime Archaic longhouse feature 
(Fitzhugh 1985b:50). At Rose Island Site Q, a Late 
Maritime Archaic component dated 3890±110 B.P. is 
stratigraphically overlain by a Pre-Dorset component 
dated 3830±115 B.P. (Tuck 1 975:54, 57). Both 
Maritime Archaic components were presumably small 
staging camps for trips to or from Ramah Bay. 

Between Sagiek and Ramah Bay there are sporadic 
Pre-Dorset sites, but no definitive Late Maritime 
Archaic sites. There must be Maritime Archaic quarry- 
ing activity in Ramah Bay, but it is difficult to demon- 
strate directly given the lack of diagnostic tools in the 
quarry debitage (Gramly 1978; Lazenby 1980). 

PALEOENVIRONMENTAL 
CONSIDERATIONS 

Paleoenvironmental information from pollen analysis 
(Fitzhugh and Lamb 1985; Short 1978) is of insuffi- 
cient chronological resolution to provide a detailed 
context for the cultural boundary situation within the 
4000-3500 B.P. period. The treeline, which today lies 
at Napaktok Bay (Elliot and Short 1 979), seems to have 
been close to its present location during this time peri- 
od (Fitzhugh and Lamb 1985:363), but it was not a 
critical limiting factor for Indian settlement. The shrub- 
tundra of the Hebron-Sagiek district is a more relevant 
northern boundary for Maritime Archaic seasonal occu- 
pations (Fitzhugh 1985a:88; Fitzhugh and Lamb 
1 985:363). If a longer time span is considered, howev- 
er, there are changes in the pollen record in the 5000- 
4000 B.P. range that provide a context for discussing 
why Middle/Late Maritime Archaic activity seems limit- 
ed in the Nain and Okak regions. 

Figure 233 presents alder (Alnus) and spruce 
(Picea) pollen percentages for the period 6000-2500 
B.P. from the Nain Pond core analyzed by Short 
(1 978:25-31); the raw data were acquired from the 



338 



CHAPTER 14 



Nain Pond Pollen Core (Short 1978) 



60,0 



50,0 



40,0 



% 30,0 



20.0 



10,0 



0,0 




-AInus 
Picea 



rp' ^ ^ <;f # foO? ^ ^ 

Calibrated BP 



233/ Pollen percentages for alder (AInus) and spruce (Picea) in the Nain region from 
6800-2500 calBP. Period of Maritime Archaic/Pre-Dorset overlap marked in gray. 
Data from Short (1978) via the NOAA database. 



GISP2 Bidecadal 6 Record (Logarithmic Smoothing) 



-34,5 



-34,6 



-34,7 



6^^0 -34.8 



-34,9 



-35 



-35.1 




irrn t TnT M T n iiiii M rn m ir iM iiiT i iiri n irirr n i M i Mn iiiirriii n ii nn rrr rM i M i MMn Tirr M iiriiri nM rii n iiiii n TiiTiriTit n ii m tr n r nn i n it H ii'ttn n 

OOOQOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO 



■.- 1^ CO cn in 



CMCvjcNjcMconrocococo-^ 



(X) r- o CNi 



Ln N. CO 



Lf) LD LD lO Lf) iD 



Calibrated BP 



(1978:28) original discussion of 
the dating of vegetation 
changes in the core was largely 
based on extrapolation from 
other cores, particularly Ubiik 
Pond in the Okak region. The 
B.P. dates in the NOAA data 
base presumably were project- 
ed from estimated sediment 
accumulation rates, so given 
the potential for dating error 
the pollen profiles should be 
considered as depicting general 
time trends rather than precise- 
ly dated zones. Note that Figure 
233 uses calibrated B.P. dates; 
the NOAA uncalibrated dates 
were converted to enable com- 
parison with the ice core data 
presented below. 

Short (1978:31) dated the 
transition to spruce woodland 
in the Nain area as occurring 
between 5700-4400 calB.P., 
possibly with an earlier first 
stage of spruce colonization of 
the inner coastal zone and a 
later migration onto the interi- 
or plateau. Subsequent reduc- 
tion in spruce pollen combined 
with increases in alder, birch 
and clubmoss suggest a reduc- 



234/ CISP2 ice core bidecadal oxygen isotope (6180) data from 5800-2500 calBP, with 
logarithmic smoothing. Period of Maritime Archaic/Pre-Dorset overlap marked in gray. 
Stuiver et al. (1995), data from the NOAA database. 



NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration) internet paleoclimatology database. 
The core has eight radiocarbon dates, but there are 
serious problems with date reversals. Short's 



tion of forest cover and an 
increase in the shrub-tundra 
component, related to climatic 
cooling (Short 1978:31). 
Generally speaking, Figure 233 
suggests overall warming and expansion of spruce 
forest until ca. 3600 calB.P., followed by a cooling 
period with spruce forest reduction and an increase 
in the alder component. But looking more closely, 



THE STRUCTURATION OF MARITIME ARCHAIC/PRE-DORSET 
SOCIAL BOUNDARIES IN LABRADOR 



339 



and taking the B.P. dates for granted, the core sug- 
gests a flip-flop sequence with a 5600-5400 calB.P. 
warming trend marked by a drop in alder and an 
increase in spruce, followed by a 5400-4800 calB.P. 
cooling marked by an alder peak coupled with a 
spruce drop. The latter cooling corresponds with the 
period for which we have minimal evidence for 
Maritime Archaic presence in the Main and Okak 
regions; 5300-4600 calB.P. (4600-4100 uncalibrated 
B.P.). 

Given the poor chronological resolution in the 
pollen data and their insensitivity to short-term climate 
changes that might have strong impacts on humans, it 
is useful to marshall another proxy indicator of climate 
variability: the oxygen isotope data from the CISP2 ice 
core from Greenland (Stuiver et al. 1995). Figure 234 
presents a logarithmic smoothing of bidecadal 
isotope data from 6000-2500 calB.P., as derived from 
the NOAA internet paleoclimatology database. From 
5300-4950 calB.P. there was a relatively warm period, 
followed by a cooling from 4950-4670 calB.P., with 
particularly sharp cooling ca. 4790 calB.P. and 4670 
calB.P.. The pollen data are more or-less consistent 
with the latter cooling, but are seemingly contrary to 
the former warming period; poor dating resolution in 
the pollen core may account for the anomaly. In any 
event, the cooling episode partly corresponds with the 
lack of Maritime Archaic settlement in the Main and 
Okak regions between 5300-4600 calB.P. (4600-4100 
uncalibrated B.P.). The ice core shows a warming trend 
from 4600-4370 calB.P., leading to a warm peak 4370- 
4150 calB.P.. This warm period spans most of the 
Rattlers Bight Phase (4500-3700 calB.P.; 4100-3500 
uncalibrated B.P.). A cooling episode follows from 
4150-3810 calB.P., corresponding with the Early Pre- 
Dorset occupation. After an overall warmer but vari- 
able trend from 3810-3330 calB.P., there is a shift to 
somewhat cooler conditions after 3200 calB.P.. 

While it is difficult to project how these climatic 
cycles would affect important variables such as the dis- 
tribution of sea ice and game resources, the point is 



that the time period discussed in this chapter was 
marked by significant variations in climate. 
Consequently, the lack of Late Maritime Archaic settle- 
ment in the Nain and Okak regions may not have been 
the result of competitive exclusion relations with Pre- 
Dorset, but instead a consequence of the Maritime 
Archaic having withdrawn from year-round habitation 
of these regions during the preceding centuries 
because of climate-related environmental factors. If so, 
Pre-Dorset might have colonized an open habitat, 
thereby blocking a Maritime Archaic resettlement of 
the Nain and Okak regions. 

A NOTE ON OTHER CULTURAL 
VARIABLES 

Although the focus in this chapter is on the interrela- 
tionship between the Late Maritime Archaic and Early 
Pre-Dorset in northern Labrador, cultural dynamics in 
central and southern Labrador should also be consid- 
ered. During the centuries preceding the Rattlers Bight 
Phase a southern Labrador Maritime Archaic variant— 
the Black Island Complex— intruded into the Hamilton 
Inlet region. Fitzhugh (1975;125) chooses to date the 
Complex to ca. 4200 B.P., but most of the radiocarbon 
dates span a period of 4900-4100 B.P. (Fitzhugh 
1 975;123). The apparent shifts in the geographical 
distribution of the northern Labrador Maritime Archaic 
in the period 5000-4000 B.P. therefore need to be seen 
relative to the cultural intrusion on the central coast, 
not simply as a response to environmental change. 

A related issue is the sudden disappearance of the 
northern Maritime Archaic as a recognizable archaeo- 
logical entity ca. 3500 B.P. (the latest radiocarbon date 
is from a burial mound at Nulliak Cove-1; Fitzhugh 
1981) and its replacement in central and northern 
Labrador by the so-called Intermediate Indian com- 
plexes (Fitzhugh 1 972; Nagle 1 978). The earliest dates 
for the Intermediate Indian Saunders Complex are ca. 
3500 B.P. (Nagle 1978;142). In central and northern 
Labrador, 3500 B.P. is viewed as a time of cultural dis- 
continuity between the Maritime Archaic and 



340 



CHAPTER 14 



Intermediate Indians, with changes in tool typology, 
lithic raw materials and settlement patterns. The 
Intermediate Indian complexes exhibit less intensive 
use of the outer coast and a greater orientation 
towards the inner coast and interior, as indicated by 
site locations and the use of interior cherts. In south- 
ern Labrador, however, the southern branch Late 
Maritime Archaic may have developed in situ into the 
Intermediate Indian complexes (Madden 1976). 

The economic and social demands placed on the 
northern Maritime Archaic by their interaction with Pre- 
Dorset, in conjunction with cultural intrusions along 
their southern boundary, may have contracted their 
spatial distribution and severely affected their ability 
to reproduce their cultural system. Already operating 
near their ecological limits and in a potential competi- 
tive situation with Pre-Dorset, their maintenance of a 
long-distance procurement system for Ramah chert 
may have led to organizational over-extension, result- 
ing in cultural collapse. The question is whether that 
collapse was marked by local extinction or simply a 
reduction in social "complexity" and rapid re-organiza- 
tion into a more interior-oriented cultural system that 
has remained archaeologically invisible because of the 
lack of research in the interior. 

Brief mention should also be made of later Pre- 
Dorset relationships with Intermediate Indians during 
the period 3500-3000 B.P., although the empirical 
basis for the discussion is considerably weaker. There 
are relatively few radiocarbon dates for Late Pre-Dorset 
in Labrador and the limited typological changes in 
tools make it difficult to recognize change until ca. 
3200 B.P., when facial grinding of burins and notching 
of endblades and burins became common (Cox 1978, 
1988). A few Pre-Dorset sites in the Nain and Okak 
regions can be slotted into the 3500-3000 B.P. span 
either by radiocarbon dates or typology. In the Nain 
region there is Double Island Cove-1, Structure 2 
(Chapter 12), and Nukasusutok-2 (Cox 1978:99; 
Fitzhugh 2002). At Okak there is Nuasornak-2, 
Structures 1 , 3 and 4 (Cox 1988), Okak-4 (Cox 



1977:204-206, 1978:104), Okak-6 (Cox 1977:217- 
224) and Green lsland-6 (Cox 1 977:125). The overall 
impression, though, is of lower site density than in 
Early Pre-Dorset. Too few sites are known to evaluate 
whether Late Pre-Dorset settlement patterns were 
essentially the same as Early Pre-Dorset. There are few 
Pre-Dorset sites south of Nain, the southernmost being 
recorded at Cape Aillik, near Makkovik on the central 
coast (Fitzhugh 1981:8). The Cow Head site on the 
west coast of Newfoundland (Tuck 1978) contains a 
small amount of Late Pre-Dorset material stylistically 
similar to that from Okak-4 in northern Labrador, pre- 
sumed to date ca. 3000 B.P.. The Cow Head material 
indicates Late Pre-Dorset people made a rapid colo- 
nization foray through central and southern Labrador 
about that time. 

Intermediate Indian Saunders Complex sites 
occur along the central coast and as far north as 
Hebron Fjord (Nagle 1978; Hood 1998). Although 
there are relatively few localities, they are more fre- 
quent in the Nain and Okak regions than both Late 
Maritime Archaic and Late Pre-Dorset sites. Saunders 
Complex sites north of Davis Inlet contain mostly 
Mugford chert (Nagle 1978:139), which was derived 
from sources on the northern edge of the Okak 
region. Both settlement distribution and raw material 
usage therefore indicate that Intermediate Indian 
groups moved rather extensively along the north-cen- 
tral coast of Labrador. Although the data are scanty, it 
is likely there was some spatial overlap with Late Pre- 
Dorset and that social boundary questions are also 
relevant in this time period. 

NAVIGATION 1: 
AN ECOLOGICAL NARRATIVE 

The Pre-Dorset colonization of the northernmost tip of 
Labrador occurred into an open habitat, but once they 
moved south of Ramah Bay they entered a region that 
was used seasonally by the Maritime Archaic. South of 
the tree-line, Pre-Dorset encountered regions that in 
earlier periods were the center of year-round Maritime 



THE STRUCTURATION OF MARITIME ARCHAIC/PRE-DORSET 
SOCIAL BOUNDARIES IN LABRADOR 



341 



Archaic occupation, but which were only sparsely pop- 
ulated or seasonally exploited by the Indians at the 
time of cultural contact. The southern limit of Early 
Pre-Dorset settlement in the Nain area suggests further 
southward colonization was blocked by permanent 
Maritime Archaic settlement in the Voisey's Bay/Davis 
Inlet region. 

Although the two cultures had broadly similar set- 
tlement patterns, they probably had different organi- 
zational strategies for resource procurement and 
mobility. The resident Maritime Archaic populations 
had built up detailed knowledge of the Labrador coast 
and its resources and had regular mobility patterns 
along with a repertoire of tested alternatives to cope 
with variations in resource availability. Their increasing 
technological and social dependence on Ramah chert 
during the fifth millennium B.P. was sustained by a raw 
material procurement system involving long-distance 
forays on the part of large multi-family groups. In con- 
trast, Pre-Dorset colonizers would have been in more 
of a "search" mode, moving through a series of new 
environments on a "familiarization tour," learning 
about resource distributions and natural conditions. 
Pre-Dorset might extend by analogy their knowledge 
of other areas to Labrador, but their frequent discov- 
ery of anomalies would necessitate a flexible foraging 
and organizational repertoire. 

The general similarities in the two cultures' sub- 
sistence-settlement strategies (niche overlap) imply a 
significant potential for interference competition on at 
least a seasonal basis. The settlement pattern data 
indicate that the Maritime Archaic and Pre-Dorset used 
at least some of the same resource patches, some- 
times from the same site. The differing organizational 
strategies of the two cultures, however, might result in 
different rankings of site preference. Maritime Archaic 
large group expeditions would require aggregation 
sites to be located near places where high resource 
return rates could sustain multi-family longhouse 
groups, such as good spring/fall harp sealing stations 
or predictable caribou hunting locales. Although Pre- 



Dorset might be drawn to the same high-return loca- 
tions, their smaller group sizes, exploratory foraging 
repertoire and less culturally-anchored relationship 
with space would allow them more flexibility in choos- 
ing alternative locations if they discovered their top- 
ranked locale was already in use by the Maritime 
Archaic. In contrast, shifting to lower-ranked locales 
was not an easy option for large Maritime Archaic 
groups that found Pre-Dorset people ensconced in tra- 
ditional Maritime Archaic sites, although the large 
Indian groups might have encouraged Pre-Dorset inter- 
lopers to reconsider their camping options. 

These place selection dynamics may have shifted 
over time. Early in the Pre-Dorset colonization process, 
when they lacked knowledge of resource distributions, 
their settlement strategies may have involved "refug- 
ing" at less optimal resource locales or "floating" 
through the interstices of Maritime Archaic settlement. 
This might be considered as asymmetric competition 
with Maritime Archaic dominance relegating Pre- 
Dorset to secondary locations. But as Pre-Dorset 
gained knowledge of resource distributions they might 
have been able to block Maritime Archaic use of opti- 
mal locations in areas where the Maritime Archaic were 
only seasonal visitors. Thus the likelihood of interfer- 
ence competition might have increased over time. If 
Maritime Archaic settlement was often highly patch- 
selective, then even modest activity by Pre-Dorset 
groups at key locations could leave the Maritime 
Archaic vulnerable to interference effects, while the 
smaller scale and more organizationally flexible Pre- 
Dorset groups may have been less vulnerable. 

Potential competitive relations could be mitigated 
either by some form of spatial partitioning or non-over- 
lapping temporal scheduling of resource use. 
Fitzhugh's (1984) model suggested territorial behavior 
on the part of both cultures, organized at both the 
macro- and micro-scales. Evaluation of the archaeolog- 
ical and paleoenvironmental data, however, suggests 
that tendencies towards macro-territoriality may be 
only a partial or indirect consequence of a competitive 



342 



CHAPTER 14 



situation. The southern boundary of Pre-Dorset activity 
might be a historic artifact of IVlaritime Archaic aban- 
donment of year-round settlement in the Nain and Okal< 
areas during the fifth millennium B.P., which provided 
Pre-Dorset with a relatively open habitat to colonize. 
Once that colony was established, the southern bound- 
ary with the Maritime Archaic was maintained by exclu- 
sion while interference competition was a seasonal phe- 
nomenon in the Nain to Ramah Bay regions. But given 
the very limited presence of IVlaritime Archaic in the 
Nain and Okak regions the potential for competition 
would have been greater in the more northerly areas. 

Micro-territoriality was probably the primary 
resource partitioning strategy for reducing interfer- 
ence competition. Temporal scheduling seems less 
likely since both cultures' subsistence procurement 
focused on similar resource peaks, such as the harp 
seal migrations, which had relatively limited time win- 
dows that would require spatial partitioning of access 
rather than temporally sequential access. The 
strongest evidence for micro-territoriality comes from 
the Hebron region, with its marked concentrations of 
Pre-Dorset localities at Harp Isthmus and Maritime 
Archaic activity at Nulliak Cove. Some sites in both the 
outer and inner portions of the Hebron region contain 
traces of both cultures, but contemporary versus 
sequential use cannot be established given the limits 
of existing dating techniques. In Sagiek Bay there is 
also a hint of similar micro-territorial concentrations. 

A somewhat different spatial pattern is found in 
the Nain region. Here there are many small Pre-Dorset 
settlements, but also three or four localities that might 
be considered as repeatedly used central places, 
though not on the scale of Harp Isthmus or St. John's 
Harbour. The only significant Late Maritime Archaic 
site in the region is Attu's Bight, which lies only 1 .8 km 
from the Attu's Point Pre-Dorset central place. 
Radiocarbon dates for the two sites do not support 
contemporaneity, but circumstantial evidence from 
stratigraphy and shoreline sequences maintain the 
remote possibility of temporal overlap. The Attu's 



Bight Maritime Archaic site was most likely a seasonal 
transit camp used by groups moving north-south along 
the coast using the protected inner passage of Port 
Manvers Run as a travel route. Interestingly, the Run 
also contains one of the major concentrations of Pre- 
Dorset sites in the Nain region and may have chan- 
neled Pre-Dorset settlement movements between the 
outer coast at Thalia Point and the inner bay region at 
Webb Bay. Consequently, Late Maritime Archaic 
groups, perhaps based south of the Nain region near 
Voisey's Bay, "floated" through the interstices of a Pre- 
Dorset "territory," either on their way to and from 
Ramah Bay or on brief seasonal foraging trips to a spe- 
cific place on Webb Bay. 

The geographical proximity of the Attu's Point and 
Attu's Bight sites has several possible interpretations, 
depending on the likelihood of contemporaneity. If 
contemporary, proximity could indicate only mild 
avoidance behavior or even quasi-mutualism in a low- 
competition situation in which both cultures exploited 
virtually the same resource patch. Or, proximity might 
be the result of non-simultaneous but broadly-contem- 
porary occupation resulting from temporal scheduling 
of occupation in different seasons (e.g.. Maritime 
Archaic in the spring, Pre-Dorset in the fall). If the sites 
are non-contemporary, and the 4000 B.P. dates from 
the Maritime Archaic locality mark its terminal use- 
phase, the proximity of the two sites might indicate 
Pre-Dorset usurpation of a previous Maritime Archaic 
resource patch and central place. None of these possi- 
bilities can be evaluated thoroughly given the current- 
ly thin dating situation, but the non-contemporaneous 
alternative bears some weight. 

The foregoing discussion framed the social bound- 
ary problem in somewhat static terms. The Pre-Dorset 
colonization of Labrador was treated largely as a single 
culture-historical event, implicitly as an en masse 
appropriation of a geographical macro-region over a 
short period of time. In most accounts of Arctic prehis- 
tory, once the culture-historical unit is present in a geo- 
graphical region colonization is treated as a fait accom- 



THE STRUCTURATION OF MARITIME ARCHAIC/PRE DORSET 
SOCIAL BOUNDARIES IN LABRADOR 



343 



pli and there is little further concern with the dynamics 
of the process. Similarly, once the culture contact situ- 
ation is established, social boundary maintenance 
comes into play and macro- and micro-territories are 
formed and maintained. But both colonization and 
boundary relations can be understood as more com- 
plex and discontinuous spatial and temporal process- 
es. Pre-Dorset movement into and within Labrador 
could be seen as consisting of multiple colonization 
events on small geographical scales and as not neces- 
sarily involving contemporary occupation of contigu- 
ous regions or a neat sequential filling of regions from 
north to south. Colonization events could include 
unstable "cycling" movements involving repeated re- 
colonization episodes in particular regions. These 
cycles could represent either failed colonization 
attempts or deliberate short term strategies to avoid 
Maritime Archaic populations. Likewise, Maritime 
Archaic settlement strategies were treated as largely 
the same over the period in question, but they could 
have involved cycles of greater and lesser activity in the 
various regions, responding to shifts in Pre-Dorset 
actions. These short-term cycles might be largely 
un